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Applications of Quantitative PET/CT Imaging of Yttrium-90: A Tool for Improving Radioembolization

A Pasciak

A Pasciak1*, Y Bradley2 , (1) University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN, (2) University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN


MO-G-17A-8 Monday 4:30PM - 6:00PM Room: 17A


Yttrium-90 (Y90) PET/CT post-treatment imaging of radioembolization has fostered significant interest from both the interventional radiology and nuclear medicine communities over the past few years. Recent literature has demonstrated high quantitative accuracy of Y90 PET at the activity concentrations common in radioembolization. However, few have explored methods in which this information can be clinically applied toward improving patient care.


IRB approval and informed consent was obtained for over 35 Y90 post-treatment imaging studies, performed under 2 distinct protocols. In protocol 1, Y90 PET/CT provided quantitative post-treatment imaging, which was then converted into 3D maps of absorbed-dose. Both images and absorbed dose maps were used to manage patient care. In protocol 2, tumor absorbed-dose measurements from Y90 PET/CT were compared to known tumoricidal thresholds. If insufficient absorbed dose was delivered to the tumor, the patient would have an additional Y90 infusion the same day, providing truly patient-specific Y90 PET/CT based treatment-planning.


Y90 PET/CT allowed for a superior post-radioembolization evaluation of technical success compared with conventional Y90 bremsstrahlung SPECT. Due to the exceptional resolution of PET, a direct comparison between the distribution of radioembolization and pre-treatment planning intentions can be made. Further, quantification of tumor absorbed-dose directly from PET/CT imaging allows for the prediction of treatment efficacy based on a comparison with known tumoricidal thresholds. This immediate evaluation allowed treating physicians to consider additional or alternate therapies before discovering clinical failure weeks later. One protocol 2 patient was found to have a subtumoricidal absorbed dose following radioembolization. This patient received a same-day infusion of additional Y90 with identical catheter placement to the first infusion. A robust treatment response was seen on follow-up imaging.


Y90 PET/CT produces quantifiable image sets, which can be transformed into 3D maps of absorbed dose. This information can be utilized to improve patient care.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: SIRTeX Medical, Surefire Medical

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