A graphical analysis method to estimate blood-to-tissue transfer constants for tracers with labeled metabolites

David A. Mankoff, Anthony F. Shields, Michael M. Graham, Jeanne M. Link, Kenneth A. Krohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The Patlak graphical analysis technique is a popular tool for estimating blood-to-tissue transfer constants from multiple-time uptake data. Our objective was to extend this technique to tracers with labeled metabolites, the presence of which can cause errors in the standard Patlak analysis. Methods: Based on previously described formulations, we generalized the graphical technique for use under specific conditions. To test the extended graphical approach, we applied the method to both simulated and patient data using a preliminary compartmental model for the PET tumor proliferation marker, 2-[11C]-thymidine. Results: When given conditions are met, a linear relationship exists between the normalized tissue activity (tissue activity/blood activity) and a new set of graphical analysis basis functions, including a new definition of normalized time, which takes the presence of labeled metabolites into account. Graphical estimations of the tumor thymidine incorporation rate for simulated data were accurate and showed close agreement to the results of detailed compartmental analysis. In patient studies, the graphical and compartmental estimates showed good agreement but a somewhat poorer correlation than in the simulations. Conclusion: The extended graphical analysis approach provides an efficient method for estimating blood-tissue transfer constants for tracers with labeled metabolites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2049-2057
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • PET
  • carbon-11-thymidine
  • metabolites
  • modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'A graphical analysis method to estimate blood-to-tissue transfer constants for tracers with labeled metabolites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this