Background: PET-MR scanners are beginning to be employed for quantitative myocardial perfusion imaging. In order to examine simultaneous perfusion calculations, this work describes a feasibility study of simultaneous PET-MR of gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) and PET radiotracer in a novel cardiac perfusion phantom.
Results: [18F]F- and GBCA were injected simultaneously into a cardiac phantom using a range of ground-truth myocardial perfusion rates of 1 to 5 ml/g/min. PET quantification of K 1 (ml/g/min) was performed using a single tissue compartment model. MR perfusion was calculated using a model-independent signal deconvolution technique. PET and MR signal traces from the phantom aorta and myocardial sections show true simultaneous PET and MR arterial input functions (AIF) and myocardial uptake respectively at each perfusion rate. Calculation of perfusion parameters showed both K 1 and h(t = 0) (PET and MR perfusion parameters respectively) to be linearly related with the ground truth perfusion rate (P T ), and also linearly related to each other (R2 = 0.99). The highest difference in perfusion values between K 1 and P T was 16% at 1 ml/g/min, and the mean difference for all other perfusion rates was <3%.
Conclusions: The perfusion phantom allows accurate and reproducible simulation of the myocardial kinetics for simultaneous PET-MR imaging, and may find use in protocol design and development of PET-MR based quantification techniques and direct comparison of quantification of the two modalities.