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BEST IN PHYSICS (JOINT IMAGING-THERAPY): Hybrid PET-MRI Imaging of Acute Radiation Induced Cardiac Toxicity

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O El-Sherif

O El-Sherif1,2*, I Xhaferllari1,2, J Sykes3, J Butler3, G Wisenberg1,3, F Prato1,3 S Gaede1,2 , (1) Western Univeristy, London, ON, (2) London Regional Cancer Program, London, ON, (3) Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON


TU-G-BRA-8 (Tuesday, July 14, 2015) 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Ballroom A


To identify the presence of low-dose radiation induced cardiac toxicity in a canine model using hybrid positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Research ethics board approval was obtained for a longitudinal imaging study of 5 canines after cardiac irradiation. Animals were imaged at baseline, 1 week post cardiac irradiation, and 1 month post cardiac irradiation using a hybrid PET-MRI system (Biograph mMR, Siemens Healthcare). The imaging protocol was designed to assess acute changes in myocardial perfusion and inflammation. Myocardial perfusion imaging was performed using N13-ammonia tracer followed by a dynamic PET acquisition scan. A compartmental tracer kinetic model was used for absolute perfusion quantification. Myocardial inflammation imaging was performed using F18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) tracer. The standard uptake value (SUV) over a region encompassing the whole heart was used to compare FDG scans. All animals received a simulation CT scan (GE Medical Systems) for radiation treatment planning. Radiation treatment plans were created using the Pinncale3 treatment planning system (Philips Radiation Oncology Systems) and designed to resemble the typical cardiac exposure during left-sided breast cancer radiotherapy. Cardiac irradiations were performed in a single fraction using a TrueBeam linear accelerator (Varian Medical Systems).


The delivered dose (mean ± standard deviation) to heart was 1.8±0.2 Gy. Reductions in myocardial stress perfusion relative to baseline were observed in 2 of the 5 animals 1 month post radiation. A global inflammatory response 1 month post radiation was observed in 4 of the 5 animals. The calculated SUV at 1 month post radiation was significantly higher (p=0.05) than the baseline SUV.


Low doses of cardiac irradiation (< 2 Gy) may lead to myocardial perfusion defects and a global inflammatory response that can be detectable as early as 1 month post irradiation using hybrid PET-MRI imaging techniques.

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