Regional cerebral glucose metabolism in healthy volunteers determined by fluordeoxyglucose positron emission tomography: appearance and variance in the transaxial, coronal, and sagittal planes.
PURPOSE: In this study, the contribution of the transaxial, coronal, and sagittal planes in evaluations of regional cerebral glucose metabolism was investigated in healthy volunteers as determined by fluorine-18-labeled 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose (FDG) and high-resolution positron emission tomography (PET). METHODS: One hundred twenty-seven healthy right-handed volunteers were injected with 4.2 MBq/kg (0.11 mCi) body weight FDG and imaged in a PENN PET H 240 scanner. Images were corrected for scatter and random coincidences and reconstructed in all three planes into 6- to 8-mm-thick slices. The reconstructed images were corrected for attenuation using the Chang algorithm. The transverse, coronal, and sagittal images were read independently of each other using a qualitative scale in which 1 = equal to, 2 = mildly, 3 = moderately, and 4 = markedly less than the area with the highest glucose metabolism in the respective plane. RESULTS: The areas with the highest glucose metabolisms were the posterior cingulate gyri with mean scores of 1.1 to 1.2, thalami (1.2 to 1.3), basal ganglia (1.5 to 1.9), and visual cortex (1.6). The lowest values were found in the occipital cortex (2.7 to 2.8) and the cerebellum (2.3 to 2.4). Whereas reliable analysis of the mesial temporal aspects was not feasible in the sagittal plane, the anterior poles of the temporal and frontal lobes could not be evaluated in the coronal or the inferior temporal areas in the transaxial slices. In all three planes, regional glucose metabolism was less in the lateral temporal areas on the left than on the right (P < 0.001). The consistency of readings as measured in terms of coefficients of variation was greatest in the coronal plane for the caudates and posterior cingulate gyri, in the transaxial plane for the lateral temporal regions, and in the sagittal plane for the visual cortex. Age-dependent decreases in regional glucose metabolism in the inferior and lateral frontal regions and the parietal lobes were found in all three planes. CONCLUSIONS: All three projection planes must be used for a comprehensive qualitative evaluation of the regional glucose metabolism of the brain.