Kinetic modelling in small animal imaging with PET
Small animal imaging with positron emission tomography has undergone a major evolution. This has been driven by technical improvements and the development of dedicated PET camera's for small animals. The focus has shifted from detection of tracer uptake and visualization of the tracer distribution towards the quantification of the physiological parameters necessary to use this technique for kinetic modelling of tracers. At the moment there are still several issues which need further research and evaluation before we can fully employ the possibilities of PET as an in-vivo measurement of underlying molecular biology. These issues relate to improved quantification of measurements, improved image reconstruction and processing, and the use of blood plasma data in combination with kinetic models. Besides the more technical issues, there are two more issues which need further clarification: the effect of the anaesthesia, and the effect of radiation on the experiment itself. In this review, we will give an overview of how the technique can be used but we will also discuss the issues mentioned above. The focus will be on the three major parts of the imaging procedure: acquisition, reconstruction of images, and kinetic modelling of the data. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.