Simplified, noninvasive PET measurement of blood-brain barrier permeability

Fausto Iannotti, Cesare Fieschi, Bruno Alfano, Piero Picozzi, Luigi Mansi, Carlo Pozzilli, Assunta Punzo, Giuseppe Del Vecchio, Gian Luigi Lenzi, Marco Salvatore, Paolo Conforti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability to [68Ga]EDTA was measured by positron emission tomography (PET) in four normal volunteers and in 11 patients with brain tumors. A unidirectional transfer constant, Ki, was calculated applying multiple-time graphical analysis (MTGA). This method allows the detection of backflux from brain to blood and, by generalization, the measurement of the constant Kb (brain to blood). Furthermore, the need for an independent measurement of the intravascular tracer is obviated: MTGA itself provides an estimate of the cerebral plasma volume (Vp). In the four normal volunteers the A, was 3.0 ± 0.8 x 10-4 ml g-1 min-1 (mean ± SD) and the Vp 0.034 ± 0.007 ml g-1. A net increase in Ks up to a maximum of 121.0 x 10-4 ml g-1 min-1 (correspondent value of Kb = 0.025 min-1) as well as an increase of Vp was observed in malignant tumors. The input function was calculated using both the [“GaJEDTA concentration in sequential arterial blood samples and, noninvasively, the activity derived from the superior sagittal sinus image. The values of and Vp from these two calculations were in good agreement. The application of MTGA to PET permits the evaluation of passage of substances across the BBB without making assumptions about the compartments in which the tracer distributes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Computer Assisted Tomography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • Blood
  • Brain barrier
  • Brain, neoplasms
  • Contrast media
  • Emission computed tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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