Contributions of imprecision in PET-MRI rigid registration to imprecision in amyloid PET SUVR measurements

Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Quantitative measurement of β-amyloid from amyloid PET scans typically relies on localizing target and reference regions by image registration to MRI. In this work, we present a series of simulations where 50 small random perturbations of starting location and orientation were applied to each subject’s PET scan, and rigid registration using spm_coreg was performed between each perturbed PET scan and its corresponding MRI. We then measured variation in the output PET-MRI registrations and how this variation affected the resulting SUVR measurements. We performed these experiments using scans of 1196 participants, half using 18F florbetapir and half using 11C PiB. From these experiments, we measured the magnitude of the imprecision in the rigid registration steps used to localize measurement regions, and how this contributes to the overall imprecision in SUVR measurements. Unexpectedly, we found for both tracers that the imprecision in these measurements depends on the degree of amyloid tracer uptake, and thus also indirectly on Alzheimer’s disease clinical status. We then examined common choices of reference regions, and we show that SUVR measurements using supratentorial white matter references are relatively resistant to this source of error. We also show that the use of partial volume correction further magnifies the effects of registration imprecision on SUVR measurements. Together, these results suggest that this rigid registration step is an attractive target for future work in improving measurement techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3323-3336
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2017


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Amyloid
  • Computer-assisted
  • Florbetapir
  • Image processing
  • Pittsburgh compound B
  • Positron-emission tomography
  • Reproducibility of results

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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