Quantitative analysis of dopamine transporters in human brain using [ 11C]PE2I and positron emission tomography: Evaluation of reference tissue models

Chie Seki, Hiroshi Ito, Tetsuya Ichimiya, Ryosuke Arakawa, Yoko Ikoma, Miho Shidahara, Jun Maeda, Akihiro Takano, Hidehiko Takahashi, Yuichi Kimura, Kazutoshi Suzuki, Iwao Kanno, Tetsuya Suhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Dopamine transporter (DAT) is a reuptake carrier of dopamine at presynapse that regulates dopaminergic neural transmission. [11CPE2I is a cocaine analog developed as a potent positron emission tomography (PET) ligand for DAT with high selectivity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the applicability of quantification methods using reference tissue models for [ 11CPE2I. Methods Dynamic PET scans were performed in 6 young healthy male volunteers after an intravenous bolus injection of [11CPE2I. Metabolite-corrected arterial plasma-input functions were obtained. Compartment model analysis and plasma-input Logan analysis were performed to determine the kinetic parameters and distribution volume (VT). The distribution volume ratio (DVR) was calculated as the ratio of VT in the cerebral region to that in the cerebellum. DVRs were also determined by the original multilinear reference tissue model method (MRTMo) and the simplified reference tissue model method (SRTM), comparing the results with those obtained from graphical analysis using arterial input function. To estimate errors in DVR calculated using the reference tissue model, a simulation study that focused on cerebellar kinetics and scan duration was performed. Results The highest [ 11CPE2I binding was observed in the striatum, followed by the midbrain and thalamus. The 2-tissue model was preferable to the 1-tissue model for describing the [11CPE2I kinetics in the cerebellum. Both the measured and 90-min simulated data showed that reference tissue models caused an underestimation of DVR in the striatum. The simulation showed that 90-min scan duration was insufficient when cerebellar kinetics was described as a 1-tissue model. Nevertheless, DVR values determined by MRTMo and SRTM were in good agreement with those by the graphical approach in other lower binding regions. Conclusion Due to the [11CPE2I kinetics in the cerebellum and limited scan duration for 11C, MRTMo and SRTM underestimated the striatal DVR. Despite this limitation, the present study demonstrated the applicability of reference tissue models. Since DAT in the midbrain and thalamus is of interest in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disease, this noninvasive quantitative analysis will be useful for clinical investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-260
Number of pages12
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Human
  • Kinetic modeling
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Reference tissue model
  • [CPE2I

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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