PET Parametric Imaging: Past, Present, and Future

Guobao Wang, Arman Rahmim, Roger N. Gunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Positron emission tomography (PET) is actively used in a diverse range of applications in oncology, cardiology, and neurology. The use of PET in the clinical setting focuses on static (single time frame) imaging at a specific time-point post radiotracer injection and is typically considered as semi-quantitative; e.g., standardized uptake value (SUV) measures. In contrast, dynamic PET imaging requires increased acquisition times but has the advantage that it measures the full spatiotemporal distribution of a radiotracer and, in combination with tracer kinetic modeling, enables the generation of multiparametric images that more directly quantify underlying biological parameters of interest, such as blood flow, glucose metabolism, and receptor binding. Parametric images have the potential for improved detection and for more accurate and earlier therapeutic response assessment. Parametric imaging with dynamic PET has witnessed extensive research in the past four decades. In this article, we provide an overview of past and present activities and discuss emerging opportunities in the field of parametric imaging for the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9201038
Pages (from-to)663-675
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Radiation and Plasma Medical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Dynamic imaging
  • image reconstruction
  • kinetic modeling
  • parametric imaging
  • positron emission tomography (PET)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Instrumentation


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