Semiquantitative Parameters in PSMA-Targeted PET Imaging with [18F]DCFPyL: Intrapatient and Interpatient Variability of Normal Organ Uptake

Karine Sahakyan, Xin Li, Martin A. Lodge, Rudolf A. Werner, Ralph A. Bundschuh, Lena Bundschuh, Harshad R. Kulkarni, Christiane Schuchardt, Richard P. Baum, Kenneth J. Pienta, Martin G. Pomper, Ashley E. Ross, Michael A. Gorin, Steven P. Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has impacted the management of patients with prostate cancer (PCa) in many parts of the world. PSMA-targeted endoradiotherapies are also being increasingly utilized and for these applications, the radiopharmaceutical distribution in normal organs is particularly important because it may limit the dose that can be delivered to tumors. In this study, we measured both interpatient and intrapatient variability of [18F]DCFPyL uptake in the most relevant normal organs. Procedures: Baseline and 6-month follow-up PSMA-targeted [18F]DCFPyL PET/computed tomography (CT) scans from 39 patients with PCa were reviewed. Volumes of interest were manually drawn using the best visual approximation of the organ edge for both lacrimal glands, all four major salivary glands, the liver, the spleen, and both kidneys for all patients. The average SUVmean, the COVs, and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) across scans were calculated. Bland-Altman analyses were performed for all organs to derive repeatability coefficients (RCs). Results: The liver demonstrated the lowest interpatient variability (13.0 and 16.6 % at baseline and follow-up, respectively), while the spleen demonstrated the largest interpatient variability (44.6 and 51.0 % at baseline and follow-up, respectively). The lowest intrapatient variability was found in the spleen (ICC 0.86) while the highest intrapatient variability was in the kidneys (ICCs 0.40–0.50). Bland-Altman analyses showed 95 % repeatability coefficients for mean uptake > 40 % for multiple organs and were highest for the lacrimal glands, kidneys, and spleen. Conclusions: Normal organs demonstrate significant variability in uptake of the PSMA-targeted radiotracer [18F]DCFPyL. Depending on the organ, different contributions of interpatient and intrapatient factors affect the intrinsic variability. The RCs also vary significantly among the different organs were highest for the lacrimal glands, kidneys, and spleen. These findings may have important implications for the design of clinical protocols and personalized dosimetry for PSMA-targeted endoradiotherapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Endoradiotherapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate-specific membrane antigen
  • Radioligand therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Semiquantitative Parameters in PSMA-Targeted PET Imaging with [18F]DCFPyL: Intrapatient and Interpatient Variability of Normal Organ Uptake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this