Practical method for radioactivity distribution analysis in small-animal PET cancer studies

Nikolai V. Slavine, Peter P. Antich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We present a practical method for radioactivity distribution analysis in small-animal tumors and organs using positron emission tomography imaging with a calibrated source of known activity and size in the field of view. We reconstruct the imaged mouse together with a source under the same conditions, using an iterative method, Maximum likelihood expectation-maximization with system modeling, capable of delivering high-resolution images. Corrections for the ratios of geometrical efficiencies, radioisotope decay in time and photon attenuation are included in the algorithm. We demonstrate reconstruction results for the amount of radioactivity within the scanned mouse in a sample study of osteolytic and osteoblastic bone metastasis from prostate cancer xenografts. Data acquisition was performed on the small-animal PET system, which was tested with different radioactive sources, phantoms and animals to achieve high sensitivity and spatial resolution. Our method uses high-resolution images to determine the volume of organ or tumor and the amount of their radioactivity has the possibility of saving time, effort and the necessity to sacrifice animals. This method has utility for prognosis and quantitative analysis in small-animal cancer studies, and will enhance the assessment of characteristics of tumor growth, identifying metastases, and potentially determining the effectiveness of cancer treatment. The possible application for this technique could be useful for the organ radioactivity dosimetry studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1861-1869
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2008


  • 3D reconstruction
  • Calibrated source
  • PET imaging
  • Radioactivity analysis
  • Small-animal cancer studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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