Research Articles (Nuclear Medicine)

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    PET-CT in brain disorders : the South African context
    (AOSIS, 2021-11) Doruyter, Alexander G. G.; Parkes, Jeannette; Carr, Jonathan; Warwick, James M.
    Positron emission tomography combined with X-ray computed tomography (PET-CT) has an established role in the management of brain disorders, but may be underutilised in South Africa. Possible barriers to access include the limited number of PET-CT facilities and the lack of contemporary guidelines for the use of brain PET-CT in South Africa. The current review aims to highlight the evidence-based usage of brain Positron emission tomography (PET) in dementia, movement disorders, brain tumours, epilepsy, neuropsychiatric lupus, immunemediated encephalitides, and brain infections. While being areas of research, there is currently no clinical role for the use of PET-CT in traumatic brain injury or in psychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders. Strategies to expand the appropriate use of PET-CT in brain disorders are discussed in this article.
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    Dual energy window imaging for optimisation of P/V ratios in VP SPECT
    (SpringerOpen, 2021) Doruyter, Alex G. G.; Holness, J. L.
    Purpose: Ventilation–perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (VP SPECT) plays an important role in pulmonary embolism diagnosis. Rapid results may be obtained using same-day ventilation followed by perfusion imaging, but generally requires careful attention to achieving an optimal count rate ratio (P/V ratio) of ≥ 3:1. This study investigated whether the ratio of counts simultaneously acquired in adjacent primary and Compton scatter energy windows (Eratio) on V SPECT was predictive of final normalised perfusion count rate ( PCRnorm) on P SPECT using [ 99mTc]Tc-macroaggregated albumin (MAA), thus allowing for optimisation of P/V ratios. Methods: Same-day VP SPECT studies acquired using standard protocols in adult patients during a 2-year period (training dataset) were assessed. Studies were included provided they were acquired with correct imaging parameters, and injection site imaging and laboratory records were available for quality control and normalised count rate corrections. Extraction of DICOM information, and linear regression were performed using custom Python and R scripts. A predictive tool was developed in Microsoft Excel. This tool was then validated using a second (validation) dataset of same-day studies acquired over a subsequent 7-month period. Accuracy of the prediction tool was assessed by calculating the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE). Results: Of 643 studies performed, the scans of 342 participants (median age 30.4 years, 318 female) were included in the training dataset, the analysis of which yielded a significant regression equation (F(1,340) = 1057.3, p < 0.0001), with an adjusted R2 of 0.756 and MSE of 0.001089. A prediction tool designed for routine clinical use was developed for predicting final P/V ratio. Of an additional 285 studies, 198 were included in the second (validation) dataset (median age 29.7 years, 188 female). The Excel-based tool was shown to be 91% accurate (MAPE: 9%) in predicting P/V ratio. Conclusion: The relationship between the ratio of simultaneously acquired counts in adjacent energy windows on V SPECT and perfusion count rate after administration of a known activity of [ 99mTc]Tc-MAA can be linearly approximated. A predictive tool based on this work may assist in optimising the dose and timing of [ 99mTc]Tc-MAA administration in same-day studies to the benefit of patients and workflows.
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    Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy of neuroendocrine tumors : how important is internal dosimetry?
    (Health and Medical Publishing Group, 2019) Lawal, I.; Louw, L.; Warwick, James; Nyakale, N.; Steyn, R.; Lengana, T.; Ellmann, A.; Kotze, T.; Vangu, M.; Vorster, M.; Sathekge, M.
    No abstract available
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    Validation of a cost-effective alternative for a radiochromatography method to be used in a developing country
    (SpringerOpen (part of Springer Nature), 2020-04-10) Ekoume, F. P.; Boersma, H. H.; Dong a Zok, F.; Rubow, S. M.
    Introduction: The radiochemical purity (RCP) of technetium-99m labelled radiopharmaceuticals (RP) is important to ensure optimal scintigraphic image quality. In low-income settings, it may not be possible to use compendial analytical methods or expensive equipment for radiochemical purity analysis. All radiochemical analysis methods should however be validated against compendial or otherwise proven methods. To ensure the efficacy of RP prepared at Yaoundé General Hospital (YGH) Cameroon, this study cross-validated a cost-effective routine chromatographic method using a simple survey meter technique. A GMP-compliant method used at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), the Netherlands was used as the comparator. Methods: Sestamibi, HMDP and DMSA kits currently used at YGH were reconstituted at UMCG with about 2000 MBq of freshly eluted sodium pertechnetate as described by the manufacturer, and spiked with eluate of the same generator to obtain a range of impurity concentrations. Samples of technetium-99m RP were spotted on 1 × 10 cm iTLC-SG strips and developed in appropriate mobile phases. Each strip was first scanned on the chromatogram-scanner used at the UMCG (standard method), and immediately thereafter the strip was cut in two pieces and radioactivity from each portion was counted with a small survey meter from YGH. The percentage RCP for each TLC strip was calculated using both counting methods. Internationally recommended validation parameters and acceptance criteria were used. Student’s paired t-test or ANOVA were used with ‘no significant difference’ designated at a 95% confidence-interval (P ≥ 0.05). Linearity of the survey meter was determined for Tc-99m. Readings obtained with the survey meter were also plotted against the scanner results. Results and discussion: The proposed method proved to be accurate (CV of mean RCP < 2), precise (RSD < 2%), linear (slope close to 1, r2 ≥ 0.99) within the RCP range of approximately 80% to 100%, and robust (P > 0.05). LOD and LOQ were determined for the survey meter. Specificity depends on chemical separation. As we were validating the suitability of a method to quantify radioactivity, specificity was not included in the validation parameters. Conclusion: The proposed method compared well with the standard method and is suitable as a reliable low cost method for limited resource settings.
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    Methamphetamine dependence with and without psychotic symptoms : a multi-modal brain imaging study
    (Elsevier, 2018) Vuletica, Daniella; Dupontc, Patrick; Robertsond, Frances; Warwick, James M.; Zeevaartc, Jan Rijn; Steina, Dan J.
    Objective: Methamphetamine dependence can lead to psychotic symptoms which may be mediated by frontal, striatal, limbic, and thalamic regions. There are few neuroimaging data that allow comparison of individuals with methamphetamine dependence who do, and do not, have psychosis. Two complementary imaging techniques were employed to investigate neurocircuitry associated with methamphetamine dependence with and without psychotic symptoms. Methods: Three groups of participants were recruited: methamphetamine dependent (MAA) (N=11), methamphetamine dependent with psychotic symptoms (MAP) (N=14), and controls (N=14). Resting brain glucose metabolism was measured using [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and cerebral perfusion was assessed using arterial spin labelling (ASL) magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Methamphetamine abusers (MAA and MAP groups) had decreased glucose metabolism compared to healthy controls in the left insula, left precentral gyrus, and the anterior cingulate cortex. Compared to MAA participants, MAP participants had 1) decreased glucose metabolism in the left precentral gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus and 2) increased glucose metabolism in the putamen and pallidum. MAP participants also had increased cerebral perfusion in the right putamen and right pallidum compared to MAA. Conclusion: Findings support the involvement of frontal, striatal, and limbic regions in methamphetamine dependence. Furthermore, they indicate that glucose metabolism and cerebral perfusion in these regions are disrupted in methamphetamine dependent individuals with psychotic symptoms.