Simultaneous positron emission tomography and ultrafast ultrasound for hybrid molecular, anatomical and functional imaging

Abstract

Positron emission tomography–computed tomography (PET–CT) is the most sensitive molecular imaging modality, but it does not easily allow for rapid temporal acquisition. Ultrafast ultrasound imaging (UUI)—a recently introduced technology based on ultrasonic holography—leverages frame rates of up to several thousand images per second to quantitatively map, at high resolution, haemodynamic, biomechanical, electrophysiological and structural parameters. Here, we describe a pre-clinical scanner that registers PET–CT and UUI volumes acquired simultaneously and offers multiple combinations for imaging. We demonstrate that PET–CT–UUI allows for simultaneous images of the vasculature and metabolism during tumour growth in mice and rats, as well as for synchronized multi-modal cardiac cine-loops. Combined anatomical, functional and molecular imaging with PET–CT–UUI represents a high-performance and clinically translatable technology for biomedical research.

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Fig. 1: PET–CT–UUI set-up and acquisitions.
Fig. 2: Longitudinal PET–UUI imaging monitors the evolution of metabolism and vascularization during tumour growth in a mouse.
Fig. 3: Phenotyping tumours in mice on the basis of bivariate, FDG–ultrafast-power-Doppler histograms.
Fig. 4: PET–CT–UUI of the beating rat heart in a short-axis view.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported by France Life Imaging grant ANR-11-INBS-0006. The authors are grateful to O. Clément and A. Tedgui for constant support, and to K. Tzavella, G. Leenders, L. Bao and X. Zhang for help with the image co-registration software. This work was supported in part by LABEX WIFI (Laboratory of Excellence ANR-10-LABX-24) within the French programme 'Investments for the Future' under reference ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL and by a grant from the Plan Cancer Physicancer programme BIMUPET (C16025KS). In vivo imaging was performed at the Life Imaging Facility of Paris Descartes University (Plateforme Imageries du Vivant), supported by France Life Imaging (grant ANR-11-INBS-0006) and Infrastructures Biologie-Santé. The project also received the support of the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm) Technology Research Accelerator in Biomedical Ultrasound.

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Authors

Contributions

J.Pr., A.G., M.T. and B.T. designed the experiments. J.Pr., A.G., J.S., D.B., B.B., T.V. and M.P.-L. performed the experiments. J.Pr., A.G., J.S., D.B., B.B., T.V., M.P.-L., M.C., M.P. and B.T. analysed the data. C.L.-L., J.F. and J.Po. provided original material to perform the experiments. J.Pr., A.G., M.T. and B.T. wrote the paper.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Mickael Tanter or Bertrand Tavitian.

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Competing interests

M.T. is a co-founder and shareholder of Supersonic Imagine. All other authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Supplementary information

Videos

41551_2018_188_MOESM3_ESM.mp4

PET–CT–ultrafast Doppler imaging of a xenografted tumour in a mouse

41551_2018_188_MOESM4_ESM.mp4

Evolution of FDG uptake and vasculature during the growth of a subcutaneous tumour in a mouse

41551_2018_188_MOESM5_ESM.mp4

Co-registered FDG uptake and vasculature in tumours with different metabolic pathways, and their corresponding bivariate histograms

41551_2018_188_MOESM6_ESM.mp4

Overlaid ECG-gated PET–UU B-mode cine-loops in two sections 3 mm apart in a rat heart

Supplementary Video 1

PET–CT–ultrafast Doppler imaging of a xenografted tumour in a mouse

Supplementary Video 2

Evolution of FDG uptake and vasculature during the growth of a subcutaneous tumour in a mouse

Supplementary Video 3

Co-registered FDG uptake and vasculature in tumours with different metabolic pathways, and their corresponding bivariate histograms

Supplementary Video 4

Overlaid ECG-gated PET–UU B-mode cine-loops in two sections 3 mm apart in a rat heart

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Provost, J., Garofalakis, A., Sourdon, J. et al. Simultaneous positron emission tomography and ultrafast ultrasound for hybrid molecular, anatomical and functional imaging. Nat Biomed Eng 2, 85–94 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-018-0188-z

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