Fifty-seventh annual meeting of the American association of physicists in medicine
WE-AB-204-07: Spatiotemporal Distribution of the FDG PET Tracer in Solid Tumors: Contributions of Diffusion and Convection Mechanisms
In this study, a mathematical model is utilized to simulate FDG distribution in tumor tissue. In contrast to conventional compartmental modeling, tracer distributions across space and time are directly linked together (i.e. moving beyond ordinary differential equations (ODEs) to utilizing partial differential equations (PDEs) coupling space and time). The diffusion and convection transport mechanisms are both incorporated to model tracer distribution. We aimed to investigate the contributions of these two mechanisms on FDG distribution for various tumor geometries obtained from PET/CT images.
FDG transport was simulated via a spatiotemporal distribution model (SDM). The model is based on a 5K compartmental model. We model the fact that tracer concentration in the second compartment (extracellular space) is modulated via convection and diffusion. Data from n=45 patients with pancreatic tumors as imaged using clinical FDG PET/CT imaging were analyzed, and geometrical information from the tumors including size, shape, and aspect ratios were classified. Tumors with varying shapes and sizes were assessed in order to investigate the effects of convection and diffusion mechanisms on FDG transport. Numerical methods simulating interstitial flow and solute transport in tissue were utilized.
We have shown the convection mechanism to depend on the shape and size of tumors whereas diffusion mechanism is seen to exhibit low dependency on shape and size. Results show that concentration distribution of FDG is relatively similar for the considered tumors; and that the diffusion mechanism of FDG transport significantly dominates the convection mechanism. The Peclet number which shows the ratio of convection to diffusion rates was shown to be of the order of 10−3 for all considered tumors.
We have demonstrated that even though convection leads to varying tracer distribution profiles depending on tumor shape and size, the domination of the diffusion phenomenon prevents these factors from modulating FDG distribution.