High quality imaging and dosimetry for yttrium-90 (90Y) liver radioembolization using a SiPM-based PET/CT scanner



Transarterial radioembolization (TARE) with yttrium-90 (90Y) microspheres is a liver-directed treatment for primary and secondary hepatic malignancies. Personalized dosimetry aims for maximum treatment effect and reduced toxicity. We aimed to compare pre-treatment voxel-based dosimetry from 99mTc macroaggregated albumin (MAA) SPECT/CT with post-treatment 90Y PET/CT for absorbed dose values, and to evaluate image quality of 90Y SiPM-based PET/CT.


Forty-two patients (28 men, 14 women, mean age: 67 ± 11 years) with advanced hepatic malignancies were prospectively enrolled. Twenty patients were treated with glass and 22 with resin microspheres. Radiation absorbed doses from planning 99mTc-MAA SPECT/CT and post-therapy 90Y PET/CT were assessed. 90Y PET/CT images were acquired for 20 min and reconstructed to produce 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-min datasets, then evaluated using the 5-point Likert scale.


The mean administered activity was 3.44 ± 1.5 GBq for glass and 1.62 ± 0.7 GBq for resin microspheres. The mean tumor absorbed doses calculated from 99mTc-MAA SPECT/CT and 90Y PET/CT were 175.69 ± 113.76 Gy and 193.58 ± 111.09 Gy (P = 0.61), respectively for glass microspheres; they were 60.18 ± 42.20 Gy and 70.98 ± 49.65 Gy (P = 0.37), respectively for resin microspheres. The mean normal liver absorbed doses from 99mTc-MAA SPECT/CT and 90Y PET/CT were 32.70 ± 22.25 Gy and 30.62 ± 20.09 Gy (P = 0.77), respectively for glass microspheres; they were 18.33 ± 11.08 Gy and 24.32 ± 15.58 Gy (P = 0.17), respectively for resin microspheres. Image quality of 90Y PET/CT at 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-min scan time showed a Likert score of 3.6 ± 0.54, 4.57 ± 0.58, 4.84 ± 0.37, and 4.9 ± 0.3, respectively.


99mTc-MAA SPECT/CT demonstrated great accuracy for treatment planning dosimetry. SiPM-based PET/CT scanner showed good image quality at 10-min scan time, acquired in one bed position. A PET/CT scan time of 5 min showed acceptable image quality and suffices for dosimetry and treatment verification. This allows for inclusion of 90Y PET/CT in busy routine clinical workflows. Studies with larger patient cohorts are needed to confirm these findings.

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The study was partially supported by GE Healthcare.

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HD: content planning, data analyses, and manuscript writing and editing; MHK: data analyses and manuscript editing; VF: statistical analyses and manuscript editing; LB: data analyses and manuscript editing; SMS: concept planning and data manuscript editing; DYS: content planning and manuscript editing; AI content planning and manuscript editing

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Correspondence to Andrei Iagaru.

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Duan, H., Khalaf, M.H., Ferri, V. et al. High quality imaging and dosimetry for yttrium-90 (90Y) liver radioembolization using a SiPM-based PET/CT scanner. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00259-021-05188-4

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  • 90Y
  • Silicon photomultiplier
  • PET/CT
  • Radioembolization
  • SIRT
  • Liver
  • Dosimetry