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TOMOGRAPHY, December 2016, Volume 2, Issue 4: 353-360
DOI: 10.18383/j.tom.2016.00205

Evaluation of Cross-Calibrated ⁶⁸Ge/⁶⁸Ga Phantoms for Assessing PET/CT Measurement Bias in Oncology Imaging for Single- and Multicenter Trials

Darrin W. Byrd1, Robert K. Doot2, Keith C. Allberg3, Lawrence R. MacDonald1, Wendy A. McDougald1, Brian F. Elston1, Hannah M. Linden4, and Paul E. Kinahan1

1Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; 2Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 3RadQual, LLC., Weare, New Hampshire; and 4Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington


Quantitative PET imaging is an important tool for clinical trials evaluating the response of cancers to investigational therapies. The standardized uptake value, used as a quantitative imaging biomarker, is dependent on multiple parameters that may contribute bias and variability. The use of long-lived, sealed PET calibration phantoms offers the advantages of known radioactivity activity concentration and simpler use than aqueous phantoms. We evaluated scanner and dose calibrator sources from two batches of commercially available kits, together at a single site and distributed across a local multicenter PET imaging network. We found that radioactivity concentration was uniform within the phantoms. Within the regions of interest drawn in the phantom images, coefficients of variation of voxel values were less than 2%. Across phantoms, coefficients of variation for mean signal were close to 1%. Biases of the standardized uptake value estimated with the kits varied by site and were seen to change in time by approximately ±5%. We conclude that these biases cannot be assumed constant over time. The kits provide a robust method to monitor PET scanner and dose calibrator biases, and resulting biases in standardized uptake values.

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