Glucose is the principal source of energy for the brain and yet the dynamic response of glucose utilization to changes in brain activity is still not fully understood. Positron emission tomography (PET) allows quantitative measurement of glucose metabolism using 2-[18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). However, FDG PET in its current form provides an integral (or average) of glucose consumption over tens of minutes and lacks the temporal information to capture physiological alterations associated with changes in brain activity induced by tasks or drug challenges. Traditionally, changes in glucose utilization are inferred by comparing two separate scans, which significantly limits the utility of the method. We report a novel method to track changes in FDG metabolism dynamically, with higher temporal resolution than exists to date and within a single session. Using a constant infusion of FDG, we demonstrate that our technique (termed fPET-FDG) can be used in an analysis pipeline similar to fMRI to define within-session differential metabolic responses. We use visual stimulation to demonstrate the feasibility of this method. This new method has a great potential to be used in research protocols and clinical settings since fPET-FDG imaging can be performed with most PET scanners and data acquisition and analysis are straightforward. fPET-FDG is a highly complementary technique to MRI and provides a rich new way to observe functional changes in brain metabolism.
- Glucose utilization
- Visual stimulus