Girth‐based administered activity for pediatric 99mTc‐DMSA SPECT Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractBackgroundPediatric molecular imaging requires a balance between administering an activity that will yield sufficient diagnostic image quality while maintaining patient radiation exposure at acceptable levels. In current clinical practice, this balance is arrived at by the current North American Consensus Guidelines in which patient weight is used to recommend the administered activity (AA).PurposeWe have previously demonstrated that girth (waist circumference at the level of the kidneys) is better at equalizing image quality than patient weight for pediatric Tc‐99m DMSA renal function imaging. However, the correlation between image quality (IQ), AA, and patient girth has not been rigorously and systematically developed. In this work, we generate a series of curves showing the tradeoff between AA and IQ as a function of patient girth, providing the data for standards bodies to develop the next generation of dosing guideline for pediatric DMSA SPECT.MethodsAn anthropomorphic phantom series that included variations in age (5, 10, and 15 years), gender (M, F), local body morphometry (5, 10, 50, 90, and 95th girth percentiles), and kidney size (±15% standard size), was used to generate realistic SPECT projections. A fixed and clinically challenging defect‐to‐organ volume percentage (0.49% of renal cortex value) was used to model a focal defect with zero uptake (i.e., full local loss of renal function). Task‐based IQ assessment methods were used to rigorously measure IQ in terms of renal perfusion defect detectability. This assessment was performed at multiple count levels (corresponding to various AAs) for groups of patients that had similar girths and defect sizes. Receiver‐operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was applied; the area under the ROC curve (AUC) was used as a figure‐of‐merit for task performance. Curves showing the tradeoff between AUC and AA were generated for these groups of phantoms.ResultsOverall, the girth‐based dosing method suggested different amounts of AA compared to weight‐based dosing for the phantoms that had a relatively large body weight but a small girth or phantoms with relatively small bodyweight but large girth. Reductions of AA to 62.9% compared to weight‐based dosing guidelines can potentially be realized while maintaining a baseline (AUC = 0.80) IQ for certain 15‐year‐olds who have a relatively small girth and large defect size. Note that the task‐based IQ results are heavily dependent on the simulated defect size for the defect detection task and the appropriate AUC value must be decided by the physicians for this diagnostic task. These results are based purely on simulation and are subject to future clinical validation.ConclusionsThe study provides simulation‐based IQ‐AA data for a girth‐based dosing method for pediatric renal SPECT, suggesting that patient waist circumference at the level of kidneys should be considered in selecting the AA needed to achieve an acceptable IQ. This data may be useful for standards bodies to develop girth‐based dosing guidelines.


  • Li, Ye
  • Brown, Justin L
  • Xu, Jingyan
  • Chen, Junyu
  • Ghaly, Michael
  • Dugan, Monet
  • Cao, Xinhua
  • Du, Yong
  • Fahey, Frederic H
  • Bolch, Wesley
  • Sgouros, George
  • Frey, Eric C

publication date

  • February 2024