18F-FDG-PET correlates of aging and disease course in ALS as revealed by distinct PVC approaches

Pilar M. Ferraro, Cristina Campi, Alberto Miceli, Claudia Rolla-Bigliani, Matteo Bauckneht, Lorenzo Gualco, Michele Piana, Cecilia Marini, Lucio Castellan, Silvia Morbelli, Claudia Caponnetto, Gianmario Sambuceti, Luca Roccatagliata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The partial volume effect (PVE) complicates PET studies of neurodegenerative diseases, since a decreased 18F-FDG retention might be influenced by atrophy-related changes of cortical regions. Multiple partial volume correction (PVC) methods have been therefore developed, but their application in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is still rare. Additionally, even if metabolic changes have been established in ALS, no study yet has investigated how these may be influenced by aging and disease course. The aim of the present study was therefore to apply and compare multiple PVC approaches to explore aging and disease course-related hypometabolism in ALS. Methods: PET and MRI data from 15 ALS patients were analyzed using PETSurfer to implement 4 distinct PVC methods: noPVC, Meltzer (MZ), Müller-Gärtner (MG) and Symmetric Geometric Transfer Matrix (SGTM). For each method and Region of Interest (ROI), the 18F-FDG value was regressed against subject age and disease duration. Results: MG/SGTM application almost halved the number of regions showing a significant age-related hypometabolism, while the same effect was not observed for disease course, where only the distribution of identified regions varied. Three distinct patterns emerged: regions showing a significant age/disease course-related effect across all the different methods, regions yielding significance only with MG/SGTM application, and regions maintaining significance only with noPVC/MZ application. Conclusions: Significant changes in the distribution of aging and disease course-related hypometabolism were observed when the effect of the underlying structural status was considered, supporting the need for investigate the impact of PVE on PET-assessed metabolic changes in clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100394
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology Open
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • F-FDG positron emission tomography
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Partial volume correction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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