New detection configuration for low activity levels of PET tracers during the analysis of plasma samples

A. Osovizky, B. Laster, A. A. Wilson, P. Bloomfield, B. Sarusi, N. Vasdev, T. Bell, A. Garcia, S. Houle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new radio-HPLC detection system for measuring radioactivity in plasma samples during Positron Emission Tomography [PET] studies was developed. It is based on detecting both the positron and one of the annihilation photons. The system focused on improving the measurement of radioactivity concentrations on an unmetabolized positron emitting a radiopharmaceutical [PER] in the presence of its radioactive metabolites, all containing the same positron emitter. This paper presents a new detection configuration that improves the minimal detectible activity (MDA), simplify the measuring systems and reduces the error caused by the metabolites. The detector is based on a plastic scintillator and a BGO scintillation crystal, that produces different light output spectra for signal and noise events. By summing the positron and the annihilated photon light outputs, different spectra are obtained for the metabolite and for the parent compound tracer and for tracer marked by different positron emitting isotopes. This new detection system can improve quantitative analysis of plasma samples. The spectrum change provides up to a three-fold improvement in sensitivity compared to the currently used detection systems that measure only the annihilation coincidence events. Results showed that for 11C the MDA was improved by approximately 520%. Furthermore, it provides the additional advantage of reliability by providing a method for separating the signal and noise readings from the gross detector readout. Accurate reconstruction algorithm of the signal was achieved over a wide measuring range even when the signal was only 5% of the gross measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-330
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019


  • PET
  • Radiation
  • RadioHPLC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation


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