Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine

Establishing age-associated normative ranges of the cerebral 18F-FDG uptake ratio in children.

PMID 25745092


In this study, we reported age-associated ranges of the regional cerebral (18)F-FDG uptake ratio in pediatric patients as a surrogate to normative data from healthy children. (18)F-FDG PET scans of 132 children and adolescents (age, 1-20 y) with non-central nervous system-related diseases and normal-appearing tracer distributions in the brain were retrospectively analyzed. PET images of individual patients were warped to a 3-dimensional reference template. Uptake ratio was calculated for 63 anatomic regions by normalizing the regional count per voxel with the average count per voxel in all regions. Models of regional uptake ratio as a function of age and sex were developed to calculate the 95% prediction interval. The paracentral lobule and cuneus had the highest resting metabolic state among all gray matter regions, whereas the brain stem, uncus, and hippocampus had the lowest uptake. A large left-right asymmetry was present in the angular gyrus and inferior occipital gyrus. Quantitative data of the regression, 95% confidence interval, and 95% prediction interval for each age were summarized for the 63 regions. In 52 of 63 regions, the (18)F-FDG uptake ratio had a significant age effect. The linear model was optimal for 12 regions, whereas the spline model with 1 age knot was a better fit for 40 regions. In children younger than 5 y, frontal and temporal lobes had a lower uptake than parietal and occipital lobes in general. However, uptake in the frontal lobe continued to increase with age but it decreased in the parietal and occipital lobes. Anatomic regions of the brain in children and adolescents exhibited uniquely different (18)F-FDG uptake trends with age. Our results may be useful for studying childhood development and possibly regional metabolic defects in children with traumatic brain injury or central nervous system disorders or children receiving cancer treatment.