Multiphase contrast-enhanced CT with highly concentrated contrast agent can be used for PET attenuation correction in integrated PET/CT imaging

  • Philip AschoffEmail author
  • Christian Plathow
  • Thomas Beyer
  • Matthias P. Lichy
  • Gunter Erb
  • Mehmet Ö. Öksüz
  • Claus D. Claussen
  • Christina Pfannenberg
Original Article



State-of-the-art positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) systems incorporate multislice CT technology, thus facilitating the acquisition of multiphase, contrast-enhanced CT data as part of integrated PET/CT imaging protocols. We assess the influence of a highly concentrated iodinated contrast medium (CM) on quantification and image quality following CT-based attenuation correction (CT-AC) in PET/CT.


Twenty-eight patients with suspected malignant liver lesions were enrolled prospectively. PET/CT was performed 60 min after injection of 400 MBq of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) and following the biphasic administration of an intravenous CM (400 mg iodine/ml, Iomeron 400). PET images were reconstructed with CT-AC using any of four acquired CT image sets: non-enhanced, pre-contrast (n-PET), arterial phase (art-PET), portal venous phase (pv-PET) and late phase (late-PET). Normal tissue activity and liver lesions were assessed visually and quantitatively on each PET/CT image set.


Visual assessment of PET following CT-AC revealed no noticeable difference in image appearance or quality when using any of the four CT data sets for CT-AC. A total of 44 PET-positive liver lesions was identified in 21 of 28 patients. There were no false-negative or false-positive lesions on PET. Mean standardized uptake values (SUV) in 36 evaluable lesions were: 5.5 (n-PET), 5.8 (art-PET), 5.8 (pv-PET) and 5.8 (late-PET), with the highest mean increase in mean SUV of 6%. Mean SUV changes in liver background increased by up to 10% from n-PET to pv-PET.


Multiphase CT data acquired with the use of highly concentrated CM can be used for qualitative assessment of liver lesions in torso FDG PET/CT. The influence on quantification of FDG uptake is small and negligible for most clinical applications.


PET/CT Liver lesions Contrast enhancement SUV Attenuation correction 



This study was supported by Bracco Imaging Deutschland GmbH, Konstanz, Germany. We thank our technologists Henriette Heners and Agnetha Bürklin for their support on the data acquisition and study management.

Conflicts of interest

GE is an employee of Bracco Imaging Deutschland GmbH, Constance, Germany. TB is an employee of cmi-experts and reports no conflict of interest with this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Aschoff
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Christian Plathow
    • 1
  • Thomas Beyer
    • 3
  • Matthias P. Lichy
    • 1
  • Gunter Erb
    • 4
  • Mehmet Ö. Öksüz
    • 2
  • Claus D. Claussen
    • 1
  • Christina Pfannenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity Hospital TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear MedicineUniversity Hospital TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Imaging Science InstituteTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Bracco ImagingConstanceGermany
  5. 5.Südwestdeutsches PET-Zentrum Stuttgart am Diakonie-KlinikumStuttgartGermany

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