It is challenging to compare amyloid PET images obtained with different radiotracers. Here, we introduce a new approach to improve the interchangeability of amyloid PET acquired with different radiotracers through image-level translation. Deep generative networks were developed using unpaired PET datasets, consisting of 203 [11C]PIB and 850 [18F]florbetapir brain PET images. Using 15 paired PET datasets, the standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) values obtained from pseudo-PIB or pseudo-florbetapir PET images translated using the generative networks was compared to those obtained from the original images. The generated amyloid PET images showed similar distribution patterns with original amyloid PET of different radiotracers. The SUVR obtained from the original [18F]florbetapir PET was lower than those obtained from the original [11C]PIB PET. The translated amyloid PET images reduced the difference in SUVR. The SUVR obtained from the pseudo-PIB PET images generated from [18F]florbetapir PET showed a good agreement with those of the original PIB PET (ICC = 0.87 for global SUVR). The SUVR obtained from the pseudo-florbetapir PET also showed a good agreement with those of the original [18F]florbetapir PET (ICC = 0.85 for global SUVR). The ICC values between the original and generated PET images were higher than those between original [11C]PIB and [18F]florbetapir images (ICC = 0.65 for global SUVR). Our approach provides the image-level translation of amyloid PET images obtained using different radiotracers. It may facilitate the clinical studies designed with variable amyloid PET images due to long-term clinical follow-up as well as multicenter trials by enabling the translation of different types of amyloid PET.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid; Deep learning; Generative model; PET.
Kang SK, Choi H*, Lee JS (2021)