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A method was developed to assess the kidney parameters glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) from 2-deoxy-2-[18F]fluoro-d-glucose (FDG) concentration behavior in kidneys, measured with positron emission tomography (PET) scans.
Twenty-four healthy adult subjects prospectively underwent dynamic simultaneous PET/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination. Time activity curves (TACs) were obtained from the dynamic PET series, with the guidance of MR information. Patlak analysis was performed to determine the GFR, and based on integrals, ERPF was calculated. Results were compared to intra-individually obtained reference values determined from venous blood samples.
Total kidney GFR and ERPF as estimated by dynamic PET/MRI were highly correlated to their reference values (r = 0.88/p < 0.0001 and r = 0.82/p < 0.0001, respectively) with no significant difference between their means.
The study is a proof of concept that GFR and ERPF can be assessed with dynamic FDG PET/MRI scans in healthy kidneys. This has advantages for patients getting a routine scan, where additional examinations for kidney function estimation could be avoided. Further studies are required for transferring this PET/MRI method to PET/CT applications.