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See detailPerformance Evaluation of the GE eXplore CT 120 Micro-CT for Various Scanning Protocols
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Bretin, Florian ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg et al

Poster (2012, November 03)

The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of the General Electric (GE) eXplore CT 120 micro-CT using the same methodology and image quality assurance vmCT phantom developed for the GE eXplore ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of the General Electric (GE) eXplore CT 120 micro-CT using the same methodology and image quality assurance vmCT phantom developed for the GE eXplore Ultra. In addition, Quality assurance in Radiology and Medicine (QRM) low contrast and bar pattern phantoms were used. The phantoms were imaged using the six protocols regularly used in our laboratory (Fast scan 220 (P1) or 360 (P2): 70 kV, 32 mA, 220 or 360 views; Soft tissue fast scan (P3): 70 kV, 50 mA, 220 views, Soft tissue step & shoot (P4): 80 kV, 32 mA, 220 views; Low Noise (P5): 100 kV, 50 mA, 720 views and In Vivo Bone scan (P6): 100 kV, 50 mA, 360 views). Data were reconstructed with an isotropic voxel size of 100 µm (50 µm when protocol detector-binning was reduced to 2x2). The MTF obtained with the slanted edge and coil methods agreed very well. A 10% modulation transfer function (MTF) was observed in the range 3.6-4.8 mm-1 (P1&2 = 4.2; P3&4 = 4.8; P5 = 3.6 and P6 = 3.8), corresponding to 95-138 µm resolutions. The smallest bars visually observed on the QRM pattern phantom image were 100 µm. The geometric accuracy was better than 0.1%. A highly linear (R2 > 0.999) relationship between measured and expected CT numbers for both the CT number accuracy and linearity sections of the phantom was observed with a voltage dependent slope. A cupping effect was observed on the uniform slices. This effect was clearly highlighted by the uniformity-to-noise ratio (P1 = 0.58, P2&3&4 = 0.75, P5 = 1.35 and P6 = 2.74) especially for the low-noise protocols P5 and P6. The best low contrast discrimination was observed for P2 and P5 protocols. In conclusion the eXplore CT 120 achieved a resolution in the range 95-138 µm. It was found to be linear and geometrically accurate. The major difference between the protocols was the noise level which limits the detectability of low contrasts. [less ▲]

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See detailDosimetry for 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-DOPA in Humans Based on Biodistribution in Mice
Bretin, Florian ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg et al

Poster (2012, October)

Aim. The objective of this work was to estimate human dosimetry for 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-DOPA (F-DOPA) from biodistribution in mice, obtained from organ harvesting at different time points and from a hybrid ... [more ▼]

Aim. The objective of this work was to estimate human dosimetry for 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-DOPA (F-DOPA) from biodistribution in mice, obtained from organ harvesting at different time points and from a hybrid method combining dynamic PET followed by organ harvesting. Materials and methods. The tissue distribution of F-DOPA over time was determined in isoflurane-anaesthetized mice. Radioassay was performed on harvested organs at 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 and 120 minutes post administration (n = 5 at each time point). Dynamic PET images were acquired in list-mode with a Siemens FOCUS 120 microPET for 120 minutes after injection and followed by radioassay of harvested organs (n = 4). List-mode data were histogrammed in 6*5s, 6*10s, 3*20s, 5*30s, 5*60s, 8*150s, 6*300s, 6*600s 3D sinograms. Final images were obtained using filtered backprojection with correction for all physical effects except for scatter. Attenuation correction resulted from a pre-injection transmission scan with a cobalt-57 point source. Organs were manually delineated. The organ time-activity-curves (TACs) from both methods were extrapolated from a simulated 35 g standard mouse to a 70 kg standard male human using a technique based on organ to bodyweight ratios. A bladder voiding scenario was used to simulate excretion every 2 h. The absorbed doses in major human organs were calculated using the extrapolated TACs with the commercially available software OLINDA/EXM (Version 1.1). Results. The extrapolated organ activity curves obtained using the harvesting and imaging methods showed a high correlation (r = 0.94 ± 0.05, p < 0.001). However, TACs from PET alone under- or overestimated the activity in individual organs in contrast to TACs obtained using the cross-calibration of the PET data with the activity in post-scan dissected organs. Those organs in the excretion pathways, comprising bladder wall, kidneys and liver, received the highest organ doses. The total body absorbed dose was 0.0118 mGy/MBq for both the imaging based and harvesting based methods. The effective dose was 0.0193 mSv/MBq for the hybrid imaging-harvesting technique and 0.0189 mSv/MBq for the pure harvesting technique. Conclusion. The doses obtained agreed well with the few results available in the literature. The hybrid technique combining dynamic PET scanning followed by organ harvesting appeared to be a good alternative to the gold standard ex vivo radioassay method. It is much faster and minimizes the effect of some weakness of the pure imaging technique, such as partial volume effect. [less ▲]

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See detailIn Ovo PET Imaging Of A Human Colorectal Carcinoma Model In Chicken Chorioallantoic Membrane
Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Turtoi, Andrei ULg; Blomme, Arnaud ULg et al

Poster (2012, October)

Aim. The objective of this study was to use in vivo PET/CT imaging as a validation tool for a novel human colorectal carcinoma model being developed in chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). For this ... [more ▼]

Aim. The objective of this study was to use in vivo PET/CT imaging as a validation tool for a novel human colorectal carcinoma model being developed in chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). For this initial pilot study a cell line modeling colon cancer was selected and imaged using [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). <br />Materials and methods. A window was made in the shell of fertilized chicken eggs and 3x106 SW1222 human colorectal carcinoma cells were implanted at day 10 post-fertilization. On day 17 the shell window was enlarged to allow direct injection of FDG (12.2 ± 4.5 MBq/egg) into a CAM blood vessel. During injection the egg was warmed on a heating pad. A mixture of ketamine/medetomidine (50 :1 mg/ml, 0.2 ml/egg) was injected into the albumin in some eggs to assess the effect of anesthesia. After FDG injection the egg was returned to the incubator for a 45 min uptake period before imaging. Imaging was performed on a Siemens Focus 120 microPET with structural CT on a General Electric eXplore CT120. A Minerve cell system allowed reproducible positioning between modalities. PET data was acquired in list mode before histogramming into a single 10 min frame for reconstruction using a 3D maximum a posteriori (MAP) method with all corrections except scatter. A standard 100 µm (theoretical) image resolution protocol (70 kV, 50 mA, 32 ms, 220 views) was used to obtain structural CT data. Image coregistration was performed in PMOD version 3.3. In a separate egg, the influence of added contrast on the CT data was investigated by adding iodinated contrast agent (Iobitridol 35 mgI/ml) to the albumin. <br />Results. FDG uptake was clear in chick and tumor, with notably high uptake at the major joints. Tumors were identified by localization of FDG uptake on the surface of the CAM. A lack of soft tissue contrast between tumor, CAM and albumin made precise structural identification of the tumor difficult. Anesthesia was crucial to image quality in both PET and CT. CT contrast between the soft tissues of the chick and surrounding albumin/structures was improved by addition of contrast agent. <br />Conclusion. For the first time we demonstrate successful imaging of FDG uptake in a human colorectal carcinoma chicken CAM model in ovo. Methods to improve structural data are under investigation and will be used in further studies. With such improvement, this model could be of great value to PET oncology imaging. [less ▲]

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See detailPerformance Measurements of the microPET FOCUS 120 for Iodine-124 Imaging
Taleb, Dounia ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Seret, Alain ULg et al

in IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science (2012), PP

This study aimed to evaluate the performance of the microPET FOCUS 120 for 124I in terms of counting rate capability and image quality using the NEMA NU 4-2008 methodology. Scanner sensitivity was ... [more ▼]

This study aimed to evaluate the performance of the microPET FOCUS 120 for 124I in terms of counting rate capability and image quality using the NEMA NU 4-2008 methodology. Scanner sensitivity was measured for 124I for comparison and reached 75 cps/kBq, respectively, with the usual 350-650 keV energy window (EW) and 6 ns time window (TW). The noise equivalent count rate (NECR) index was defined as: NECR = RT2/(RP+RGP) (T = true, P = prompt, GP = γ-prompt). A rat phantom maximum NECR of 48 kcps was obtained for the 250-590 keV EW with 6 ns TW. An almost identical maximum NECR of 43 kcps was recorded for 350-590 and 350-650 keV EW and 6 ns TW. The 2 ns TW reduced the sensitivity and NECR by 40-50% for all EW. The mouse phantom NECR study was limited because of the maximum available activity concentration of 124I. The 250-590 keV EW showed the largest scatter and γ-prompt plus scatter fractions with 25.7% and 43%, respectively, for the rat phantom and 12.2% and 27% for the mouse phantom. With the 350-590 keV EW, these fractions decreased to 20% and 33.5% for the rat phantom and to 10% and 21% for the mouse phantom. The image quality was investigated with the NEMA NU 4-2008 dedicated phantom for four (two analytic and two iterative) 2D or 3D reconstruction methods. The lowest spillover ratios (SOR) for the phantom non-emitting regions were obtained for the 350-590 and 350-650 keV EWs. Recovery coefficients (RC) of the hot rods were the highest for the 350-590 keV EW except for the 1 mm rod. Scatter correction led to a large decrease in RC. The combination of the 350-590 keV EW with 6 ns TW appeared to be a good compromise between counting rate capability and image quality for the FOCUS 120, especially when maximum a posteriori reconstruction was used without scatter correction. Moreover this combination enabled the best quantification with an error as low as 0.36%. [less ▲]

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See detailCHARACTERIZATION OF A NOVEL RADIOTRACER TARGETING SYNAPTIC VESICLE PROTEIN 2A (SV2A)
Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Aerts, Joël ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg et al

Poster (2012, September)

Synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) has been identified as the binding site of the antiepileptic levetiracetam (Keppra) [1]. SV2 proteins are critical for proper nervous system function and have been ... [more ▼]

Synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) has been identified as the binding site of the antiepileptic levetiracetam (Keppra) [1]. SV2 proteins are critical for proper nervous system function and have been demonstrated to be involved in vesicle trafficking. Their implication in epilepsy makes them an interesting therapeutic target, and the widespread distribution of SV2A in particular may provide an opportunity to develop a PET-based measure of neuronal function in brain diseases. [18F]UCB-H is a fluorine-18 radiolabelled PET imaging agent with a nanomolar affinity for the human SV2A protein. Preclinical PET studies in rodents were carried out using male SD rats, imaged under isoflurane anaesthesia in a Siemens Concorde Focus 120 microPET scanner. Arterial input function was measured using an arteriovenous shunt method and beta microprobe system. [18F]UCB-H was injected IV (3.8 ± 0.54 mCi bolus, specific activity 8.5 ± 0.86 Ci/Emol immediately after synthesis) and dynamic PET data acquired in list mode for 90 min. Images were reconstructed using filtered back projection with correction for all physical effects except scatter. These scans revealed high uptake of [18F]UCB-H in brain and spinal cord, matching the expected homogeneous distribution of SV2A in the rodent brain [2]. Notably, the kinetics of [18F]UCB-H uptake in the brain were fast, peaking at up to 30 % ID/cm3 before a rapid decline. Metabolism of [18F]UCB-H in vivo followed a typical pattern of rapid initial metabolism followed by a reducing rate of metabolism over time, with less than 20% of the activity in plasma attributable to the parent compound after 30 minutes, and was highly reproducible between subjects. One major metabolite was identified. The uptake of [18F]UCB-H in the brain over time was well fitted by a classical 1-tissue compartment model. Mean parameter estimates (mean ± SD, n=7, whole brain VOI) were K1: 3.58 ± 0.65 ml/cm3/min, k2: 0.21 ± 0.03 min-1, Vt: 17.21 ± 2.52 ml/cm3. Uptake of [18F]UCB-H was blocked by pretreatment with brivaracetam (21 mg/kg IV, 10 min prior to [18F]UCB-H), a recently described high affinity SV2A ligand with a 20-fold higher affinity for SV2A than levetiracetam [3]. In contrast, pretreatment with ucb-100230-1, a diastereoisomer of brivaracetam with 3200-fold lower affinity for SV2A [3], had no clear effect of the brain uptake of [18F]UCB-H. Our results indicate that [18F]UCB-H is a suitable radiotracer for the quantification of SV2A proteins in vivo and for estimating target occupancy of drugs targeting SV2A. This is the first PET tracer for in vivo quantification of SV2A. The necessary steps for implementation of [18F]UCB-H production under GMP conditions have been completed and first in human studies are planned. References [1] Lynch, B.A. et al. (2004) PNAS 101(26):9861-6. [2] Janz, R. & Sudhof, T.C. (1999) Neuroscience 94(4):1279-1290.[3] Gillard, M. et al. (2011) Eur J Pharmacol 664:36-44. [less ▲]

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See detailMicroPET Focus 120 scanner use at high-­‐count rate
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Taleb, Dounia ULg et al

Poster (2012, September)

Kinetic modeling of physiological processes using imaging techniques requires an accurate measurement of the time-activity curve of the tracer in plasma, known as the arterial input function (IF). The IF ... [more ▼]

Kinetic modeling of physiological processes using imaging techniques requires an accurate measurement of the time-activity curve of the tracer in plasma, known as the arterial input function (IF). The IF can be obtained by manual blood sampling, can be derived from PET images, or continuously measured by the use of small counting systems such as beta microprobes [1]. However, some beta microprobe systems can suffering from high background counts and low sensitivity compared to PET can obligate the use of activities higher than those typical for the imaging system. In the present study, the NEMA NU4-2008 image quality (IQ) phantom [2] was used to evaluate the image quality of the microPET Focus 120 at high activity values. Attenuation correction was obtained from transmission measurement using 57Co point source. Eight emission scans of 20 minutes were performed at decreasing activity starting from 109 MBq to 3.7 MBq (total activity in the field-of-view). To study the effect of normalization in high count rate studies, several normalization scans were performed using activities ranging between 18 and 212 MBq. Images were reconstructed with all corrections using Fourier rebinning and filtered backprojection. The mean activity and the coefficients of variation of the uniform slices were measured. All high activity reconstructed images showed a detector-block-patterned artifact with an overestimation of the counts when normalization activity is higher than that used in the IQ phantom and underestimation of the counts when normalization activity is below the activity used in the IQ phantom. Using the same high activity for acquisition and normalization considerably reduces the patterned-artifact but does not eliminate it entirely. The observed artifact is due to pulse pile-up in the detectors at high count-rates. A dedicated rejection of the pulse pile-up does not appear to have been implemented for the microPET Focus 120. An alternative would be to re-calibrate the detectors with higher activity values to prevent any pile-up effect or to create an attenuation volume into which phantoms or small animals could be inserted thus decreasing the artifact. This latter option is under development. References: [1] G. Warnock et al, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Research, 1-13 (2011) [2] NEMA Standards Publication NU4-2008. Rosslyn, VA: National Electrical Manufacturers Association; (2008). [less ▲]

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See detailSmall animal imaging with human PET
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Tombuloglu, S; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg et al

Poster (2012, September)

PET studies provide valuable information in the assessment of animal models for human diseases. MicroPET systems provide the high resolution needed to explore small organs but suffer from a reduced axial ... [more ▼]

PET studies provide valuable information in the assessment of animal models for human diseases. MicroPET systems provide the high resolution needed to explore small organs but suffer from a reduced axial FOV. Multiple bed positions are then used to obtain whole body scans resulting in increased scan time and incomplete dynamic data. In contrast, human PET systems have larger axial FOV but a lower resolution. In this study, an image-based model of the scanner spatial response function combined with a 3D-OSEM reconstruction algorithm were used to improve spatial resolution of the Siemens ECAT EXACT HR+ PET scanner. A stationary double Gaussian model [1] of the ECAT EXACT HR+ point spread function was derived from 18F point source measurements performed at different radial and axial locations in the scanner FOV. This model was used in a 3D-OSEM reconstruction (3D-OSEM-RM). Sinograms were normalized and attenuation and scatter corrected using the Siemens ECAT tools before reconstruction. Both NEMA NU 2-1994 performance phantoms and NEMA NU4-2008 image quality phantom mimicking small animals were used to evaluate the accuracy of corrections for physical effects and the overall image quality. A 50 min dynamic FDG rat study was conducted on the ECAT HR+ and reconstructed with 3D-OSEM-RM. The images were used to compute the metabolic rate of glucose (MRglu) in multiple brain structures. These images were also visually compared to the static image obtained with a FOCUS 120 microPET immediately after the HR+ dynamic scan. The standard deviations of the two Gaussians used to model the transaxial (axial) resolution in a central FOV of 5 cm radius were σ1 = 1.6 (2.75) mm and σ2 = 3.66 (4.16) mm, and the ratio of the weights between the first and second Gaussians was ρ = 0.2 (0.7). Image uniformity and accuracy of scatter and attenuation corrections, evaluated following NEMA NU 2-1994, were found to be very similar between 3D-OSEM, 3D-OSEM-RM, 2D- and 3D-FBP reconstructed images. When using the NEMA NU4-2008 image quality phantom a significant increase of the hot rod recovery coefficient was observed. This effect was rod size dependent and amounted to 17-35% for the 3D-OSEM-RM compared to the 3D-OSEM and to 35-62% compared to the FBP reconstructions. Nevertheless the values obtained with 3D-OSEM-RM were around 20-35% lower than those obtained with the FOCUS 120 microPET scanner. Most of the small brain structures observed on microPET images were also visible on the images obtained with the HR+ scanner and 3D-OSEM-RM. Rat cerebral MRglu values calculated on 3D-OSEM-RM images were in the range of published values [2] (e.g. whole brain = 25.34 μmol/min/100g). Using an approximate model of the ECAT EXACT HR+ spatial response in 3D-OSEM resulted in sufficient image quality for dynamic whole body scans of small rodents, despite the large FOV, and resulted in improved contrast compared to images generated using the built-in software. This methodology will be applied for future small animal dosimetry and modeling studies in our laboratory. [1] Comtat et al. IEEE Nucl Sci Symp Conf Record. pp. 4120-4123 (2008) [2] Schiffer et al. J Nucl Med 48:277-287 (2007) [less ▲]

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See detailDosimetry for 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-DOPA in humans based on in vivo microPET scans and ex vivo tissue distribution in mice
Bretin, Florian ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg et al

Poster (2012, September)

Radiation dosimetry of new radiopharmaceuticals generally starts with studies in small animals such as mice and rats. The traditional technique has long been ex vivo measurement of the biodistribution ... [more ▼]

Radiation dosimetry of new radiopharmaceuticals generally starts with studies in small animals such as mice and rats. The traditional technique has long been ex vivo measurement of the biodistribution over time using harvested organs at different times post administration of the radiopharmaceutical. Since this approach requires a significant amount of animals, dynamic microPET studies, where the biodistribution of the tracer over time can be determined in vivo in a single scan, are an invaluable alternative. Due to known imaging artifacts and limitations, such as partial volume effect, a hybrid technique combining harvesting organs (post-scan) and dynamic imaging was introduced to achieve a cross-calibration to account for these limitations. Since 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-DOPA is a widely used PET tracer to study the dopaminergic system in neurology and oncology and there is no sound published dosimetry data, absorbed doses for major organs in humans were estimated using the traditional ex vivo technique and by dynamic microPET imaging in mice, allowing direct comparison of the results from the two techniques. The tissue distribution over time of 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-DOPA was determined by radioassay of harvested organs at 2, 5, 10, 30, 60, 120 minutes post administration (n=5 at each time point) in isoflurane-anaesthetized mice. Dynamic PET images were acquired with a FOCUS 120 microPET for 120 minutes after injection of 6-[18F]Fluoro-L-DOPA followed by radioassay of harvested organs (n=4). A bladder voiding scenario was used to simulate excretion every 2 h. The organ time-activity-curves (TACs) from both methods were extrapolated from a simulated 35 g standard mouse to a 70 kg standard male human using a technique based on organ to bodyweight ratios. The absorbed doses in major human organs were calculated with the commercially available human dosimetry software OLINDA/EXM (Version 1.1) using the extrapolated TACs. The extrapolated organ TACs obtained using the two methods showed a high correlation (average r = 0.94 ± 0.05, p < 0.001). However, TACs from PET alone under- or overestimated the activity in individual organs in contrast to TACs obtained using the cross-calibration of the PET data with the activity in post-scan dissected organs. Those organs in the excretion pathways, comprising bladder wall, kidneys and liver, received the highest organ doses. The total body absorbed dose was 0.0118 mGy/MBq for both the imaging based and harvesting based methods. The effective dose was 0.0193 mSv/MBq for the hybrid imaging-harvesting technique and 0.0189 mSv/MBq for the pure harvesting technique. Scaling errors in the PET TACs are likely caused by quantification errors such as partial volume effects and image artifacts. The use of a hybrid imaging technique to cross-calibrate the TACs improved the accuracy of the imaging-based dosimetry estimates. Therefore the hybrid technique combining dynamic imaging and harvesting organs (post-scan) is a suitable alternative to the gold standard ex vivo radioassay method. It yields comparable results yet reduces significantly the amount of animals needed in the study and can accelerate data acquisition. [less ▲]

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See detailPET In Conscious Rodents - Quantification of Stress During The Training Process
Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Bretin, Florian ULg et al

Poster (2012, September)

Recently several methods for performing PET studies in conscious rodents have been developed [1-3]. These methods have the potential to greatly improve the translational nature of PET studies in rodents ... [more ▼]

Recently several methods for performing PET studies in conscious rodents have been developed [1-3]. These methods have the potential to greatly improve the translational nature of PET studies in rodents. One of the most easily implemented methods is the training of a rat to tolerate head fixation in a restraining device. Training consists of intervals of restraint over several days. However, the stress induced by this training procedure has not been quantified in detail. Limited changes in plasma corticosterone have been reported, but this data may be confounded by sample timing and baseline levels. An implantable telemetry system (Telemetry Research) was used to remotely measure blood pressure, heart rate and core temperature during training. Transmitters were implanted in the abdominal cavity under isoflurane anesthesia, with the blood pressure sensor fixed in the abdominal aorta. Training was started after a recovery period of at least 1 week. Training consisted of a 5 min period of acclimatization in the cage containing the restraining device, followed by increasing durations of restraint in the device on subsequent training days (15, 30, 45, 60, 90 min). Telemetry data was acquired from 5 min prior to acclimatization to 60 minutes post-training. In this initial pilot study, a single rat was trained, without head fixation, for 4 consecutive days and again on day 7. All reported values are mean ± SEM across the five training days. In the home cage, prior to acclimatization, baseline heart rate (HR) was 294 ± 15 bpm. During the acclimatization period, HR was elevated to 411 ± 7 bpm. Immediately after starting training, HR was 419 ± 16 bpm. During the training period HR showed a tendency to decrease, with raised periods at undefined intervals. After return to the home cage, HR remained elevated for 15-20 min before returning to a value (313 ± 9 bpm) close to baseline. A similar pattern was seen in blood pressure (mean; BP). Baseline BP was 76 ± 7 mmHg, increasing to 94 ± 9 mmHg during acclimatization. After commencing training, a peak in BP was reached at 102 ± 8 mmHg. After the 15-20 min recovery interval, BP returned to a baseline of 77 ± 9 mmHg. The HR and BP responses to acclimatization and to the training protocol persisted throughout all training days, with the main noticeable difference being the number of bouts of increased HR, which increased with training duration. Core body temperature (baseline: 37.45 ± 0.21 °C) increased during restraint training, with a subsequent post-training peak (38.21 ± 0.03 °C). Measurement of core temp is complicated during longer training sessions by the need to charge the transmitter. This early data indicates that stress induced by the training procedure for conscious PET persists after several days of training. In subsequent studies the head will be fixed and the effect of the training on plasma corticosterone and central glucose metabolism (using [18F]FDG) will be examined. [1] Momosaki et al. (2004) Synapse 54:207–213 [2] Wyss et al. (2009) NeuroImage 48:339–347 [3] Itoh et al. (2009) J Nucl Med 50:749–756 [less ▲]

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See detailImaging Guided Proteomics Unveils Heterogeniety in Colorectal Carcinoma Liver Metastases – Implications for Targeted Therapies.
blomme, Arnaud; Turtoi, Andrei ULg; Delvaux, David ULg et al

in Proceedings Giga Day 2012 (2012, May 04)

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See detailNEMA NU4-2008 Performance Evaluation for the MicroPET FOCUS 120 and Iodine-124
Taleb, Dounia ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg et al

in IEEE proceedings of ANIMMA 2011 (2012, March 12)

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See detailPerformance evaluation of the General Electric eXplore CT 120 micro-CT using the vmCT phantom.
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Plenevaux, Alain ULg et al

in Nuclear Instruments & Methods in Physics Research Section A (2011), 648

The eXplore CT 120 is the latest generation micro-CT from General Electric. It is equipped with a high power tube and a flat panel detector. It allows high resolution and high contrast fast CT scanning of ... [more ▼]

The eXplore CT 120 is the latest generation micro-CT from General Electric. It is equipped with a high power tube and a flat panel detector. It allows high resolution and high contrast fast CT scanning of small animals. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of the eXplore CT 120 with the one of the eXplore Ultra, its predecessor for which the methodology using the vmCT phantom was already described [1]. The phantom was imaged using typical rat (fast scan or F) or mouse (in vivo bone scan or H) scanning protocols. With the slanted edge method, a 10% modulation transfer function (MTF) was observed at 4.4 (F) and 3.9-4.4 (H) mm-1 corresponding to 114 μm resolution. A fairly larger MTF was obtained with the coil method with the MTF for the thinnest coil (3.3 mm-1 ) equal to 0.32 (F) and 0.34 (H). The geometric accuracy was better than 0.3%. There was a highly linear (R2 > 0.999) relationship between measured and expected CT numbers for both the CT number accuracy and linearity sections of the phantom. A cupping effect was clearly seen on the uniform slices and the uniformity-to-noise ratio ranged from 0.52 (F) to 0.89 (H). The air CT number depended on the amount of polycarbonate surrounding the area where it was measured: a difference as high as approximately 200 HU was observed. This hindered the calibration of this scanner in HU. This is likely due to the absence of corrections for beam hardening and scatter in the reconstruction software. However in view of the high linearity of the system, the implementation of these corrections would allow a good quality calibration of the scanner in HU. In conclusion, the eXplore CT 120 achieved a better spatial resolution than the eXplore Ultra (based on previously reported specifications) and future software developments to include beam hardening and scatter corrections will make the new generation CT scanner even more promising. [less ▲]

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See detailUse of a beta microprobe system to measure arterial input function in PET via an arteriovenous shunt in rats
Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Goblet, David ULg et al

in European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Research (2011), 1

Kinetic modeling of physiological function using imaging techniques requires the accurate measurement of the time-activity curve of the tracer in plasma, known as the arterial input function (IF). The ... [more ▼]

Kinetic modeling of physiological function using imaging techniques requires the accurate measurement of the time-activity curve of the tracer in plasma, known as the arterial input function (IF). The measurement of IF can be achieved through manual blood sampling, the use of small counting systems such as beta microprobes, or by derivation from PET images. Previous studies using beta microprobe systems to continuously measure IF have suffered from high background counts. In the present study, a light-insensitive beta microprobe with a temporal resolution of up to 1 s was used in combination with a pump-driven femoral arteriovenous shunt to measure IF in rats. The shunt apparatus was designed such that the placement of the beta microprobe was highly reproducible. The probe-derived IF was compared to that obtained from manual sampling at 5-s intervals and IF derived from a left ventricle VOI in a dynamic PET image of the heart. Probe-derived IFs were very well matched to that obtained by "gold standard" manual blood sampling, but with an increased temporal resolution of up to 1 s. The area under the curve (AUC) ratio between probe- and manually derived IFs was 1.07 ± 0.05 with a coefficient of variation of 0.04. However, image-derived IFs were significantly underestimated compared to the manually sampled IFs, with an AUC ratio of 0.76 ± 0.24 with a coefficient of variation of 0.32. IF derived from the beta microprobe accurately represented the IF as measured by blood sampling, was reproducible, and was more accurate than an image-derived technique. The use of the shunt removed problems of tissue-background activity, and the use of a light-tight probe with minimal gamma sensitivity refined the system. The probe/shunt apparatus can be used in both microprobe and PET studies. [less ▲]

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See detail[18F]fallypride binding in the mouse brain: test-retest and effects of registration
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Geuzaine, Annabelle ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg et al

Conference (2011, January 17)

The quantification of in vivo receptor kinetics with PET tracer experiments is an intricate and challenging problem especially for small animals such as rats and mice. A test-retest scan is usually set up ... [more ▼]

The quantification of in vivo receptor kinetics with PET tracer experiments is an intricate and challenging problem especially for small animals such as rats and mice. A test-retest scan is usually set up in order to confirm an observed experimental effect or to examine the reliability of the experiment design. Inadequate processing of the image data may also mask small effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of image registration on [18F]fallypride binding potentials calculated from PET mouse test-retest data. Sub-optimal registration affected the quantification of in vivo receptor kinetics with [18F]fallypride. The absence of anatomical information in the [18F]fallypride image and the lack of a homogeneous tracer distribution, even during the earlier minutes of the scan, lead to erroneous automatic registration. A FDG scan after each [18F]fallypride test could improve registration as FDG provides a more homogeneous brain image. Variability in the data could also result from stress induced by anaesthesia or the experimental environment. [less ▲]

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See detailImage Quality evaluation for 124I in the microPET Focus 120 scanner using the NEMA NU4-2008 phantom
Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Taleb, Dounia ULg et al

Conference (2011, January 17)

Physical properties of iodine-124 such as its high positron energy, corresponding large positron range in tissue and the fraction of the single γ-photons emitted may have detrimental effects on the PET ... [more ▼]

Physical properties of iodine-124 such as its high positron energy, corresponding large positron range in tissue and the fraction of the single γ-photons emitted may have detrimental effects on the PET image quality. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the image quality for iodine-124 in the small animal microPET Focus 120 scanner using the NEMA NU4-2008 image quality phantom. Although the 2 ns timing window gives higher recovery coefficients and slightly lower spill-over ratios and combined with the 350-590 keV energy window gives the lowest spill-over ratio, the combination of the 350-650 keV and 6 ns windows seems to be the best compromise to obtain images with high contrast and low noise content. [less ▲]

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See detailStress-induced decreases in local cerebral glucose utilization in specific regions of the mouse brain.
Warnock, Geoffrey ULg; Steckler, Thomas

in BMC Research Notes (2011), 4

BACKGROUND: Restraint stress in rodents has been reported to activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and to increase c-fos expression in regions that express components of the ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Restraint stress in rodents has been reported to activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and to increase c-fos expression in regions that express components of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) system. We have previously reported that acute central administration of CRF increased a measure of relative local cerebral glucose utilization (LCGU), a measure of neuronal activity in specific brain regions, and activated the HPA axis in mice. It was hypothesized that the involvement of the CRF system in the stress response would lead to similar changes in relative LCGU after restraint stress. In the present studies the effect of restraint stress on relative LCGU and on the HPA axis in C57BL/6N mice were examined. FINDINGS: Restraint stress activated the HPA axis in a restraint-duration dependent manner, but in contrast to the reported effects of CRF, significantly decreased relative LCGU in frontal cortical, thalamic, hippocampal and temporal dissected regions. These findings support evidence that stressors enforcing limited physical activity reduce relative LCGU, in contrast to high activity stressors such as swim stress. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the present studies do not support the hypothesis that stress-induced changes in relative LCGU are largely mediated by the CRF system. Further studies will help to delineate the role of the CRF system in the early phases of the relative LCGU response to stress and investigate the role of other neurotransmitter systems in this response. [less ▲]

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