Optimization of [11C]methionine PET study: Appropriate scan timing and effect of plasma amino acid concentrations on the SUV

Kayako Isohashi, Eku Shimosegawa, Hiroki Kato, Yasukazu Kanai, Sadahiro Naka, Koichi Fujino, Hiroshi Watabe, Jun Hatazawa

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: [11C]methionine (MET) has been used to monitor amino acid metabolism in tumors, the pancreas, liver, and myocardium. The aim of the present study was to standardize [11C]MET positron emission tomography (PET) by optimizing the timing of initiation of the scan and applying correction to the plasma concentrations of neutral amino acids (NAAs), where necessary. Methods: Sequential whole-body MET PET/computed tomography (CT) was performed in 11 normal adults after they had fasted for at least 4 h. After whole-body CT for attenuation correction and intravenous bolus injection of MET, the subjects were scanned from the parietal to the groin. The scanning was repeated six to seven times. Decay of radioactivity during the PET scan was corrected to the time of initiation of the first scan. The standardized uptake values (SUVs) were evaluated in various organs by setting regions of interest on the tomographic images. Plasma concentrations of NAAs were examined in relation to the SUV values. Results: The SUVs in the pancreas reached their plateau from 6.5 to 11 min after the MET injection, and in the brain, lung, and myocardium, they reached their plateau from 19.6 to 24.1 min. The MET uptake in the spleen and kidney peaked early after the injection and steadily decreased thereafter. The SUVs in the liver and stomach wall rapidly increased during the first 0 to 4.5 min and gradually elevated thereafter during the scan period. Urinary radioactivity in the bladder reached its plateau from 26.1 to 30.6 min after the MET injection. There were no correlations between the plasma concentrations of NAAs and the maximal SUV in any organs. Conclusions: The present study revealed the times taken to reach the plateau of MET uptake in various important organs, and little effects of the plasma neutral amino acid concentrations on the SUVs in PET studies conducted after the patients had fasted for at least 4 h. In the MET PET study, 4 h fasting period before MET administration and the scan initiation 20 min after MET administration provide the SUV values independent of scan initiation time and the plasma neutral amino acid concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEJNMMI Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Methionine
  • Normal volunteers
  • PET
  • Plasma concentrations of neutral amino acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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