Structural MR images concomitantly acquired with PET images can provide crucial anatomic information for precise quantitative analysis. However, in the clinical setting, not all the subjects have corresponding MR images. Here, we developed a model to generate structural MR images from amyloid PET using deep generative networks. We applied our model to quantification of cortical amyloid load without structural MR. Methods: We used florbetapir PET and structural MR data from the Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database. The generative network was trained to generate realistic structural MR images from florbetapir PET images. After the training, the model was applied to the quantification of cortical amyloid load. PET images were spatially normalized to the template space using the generated MR, and then SUV ratio (SUVR) of the target regions was measured by predefined regions of interest. A real MR-based quantification was used as the gold standard to measure the accuracy of our approach. Other MR-less methods-a normal PET template-based, a multiatlas PET template-based, and a PET segmentation-based normalization/quantification-were also tested. We compared the performance of quantification methods using generated MR with that of MR-based and MR-less quantification methods. Results: Generated MR images from florbetapir PET showed signal patterns that were visually similar to the real MR. The structural similarity index between real and generated MR was 0.91 ± 0.04. The mean absolute error of SUVR of cortical composite regions estimated by the generated MR-based method was 0.04 ± 0.03, which was significantly smaller than other MR-less methods (0.29 ± 0.12 for the normal PET template, 0.12 ± 0.07 for the multiatlas PET template, and 0.08 ± 0.06 for the PET segmentation-based methods). Bland-Altman plots revealed that the generated MR-based SUVR quantification was the closest to the SUVRs estimated by the real MR-based method. Conclusion: Structural MR images were successfully generated from amyloid PET images using deep generative networks. Generated MR images could be used as templates for accurate and precise amyloid quantification. This generative method might be used to generate multimodal images of various organs for further quantitative analyses.
Keywords: MR generation; PET quantification; deep learning; florbetapir PET; generative adversarial network.
Choi H, Lee DS.