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PET/CT Harmonization for Multicenter Studies

Feasibility of PET/CT system performance harmonisation for quantitative multicentre 89Zr studies

Andres Kaalep, Marc Huisman, Terez Sera, Danielle Vugts, Ronald Boellaard, on behalf of EARL, EATRIS and the TRISTAN Consortium

EJNMMI Physics 2018 (5):26 doi: 10.1186/s40658-018-0226-7.



The aim of this study was to investigate the variability in quantitative performance and feasibility of quantitative harmonisation in 89Zr PET/CT imaging.


Eight EANM EARL-accredited (Kaalep A et al., Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 45:412-22, 2018) PET/CT systems were investigated using phantom acquisitions of uniform and NEMA NU2-2007 body phantoms. The phantoms were filled according to EANM EARL guidelines for 18F-FDG, but 18F-FDG solution was replaced by a 89Zr calibration mixture. For each system, standard uptake value (SUV) accuracy and recovery coefficients (RC) using SUVmean, SUVmax and SUVpeak metrics were determined.


All eight investigated systems demonstrated similarly shaped RC curves, and five of them exhibited closely aligning recoveries when SUV bias correction was applied. From the evaluated metrics, SUVpeak was found to be least sensitive to noise and reconstruction differences among different systems.


Harmonisation of PET/CT scanners for quantitative 89Zr studies is feasible when proper scanner-dose calibrator cross-calibration and harmonised image reconstruction procedures are followed. An accreditation programme for PET/CT scanners would facilitate multicentre 89Zr quantitative studies.