Effects of blood flow on [11C]raclopride binding in the brain: Model simulations and kinetic analysis of PET data

Jean Logan, Nora D. Volkow, Joanna S. Fowler, Gene Jack Wang, Stephen L. Dewey, Robert MacGregor, David Schlyer, S. John Gatley, Naomi Pappas, Payton King, Robert Hitzemann, Stephen Vitkun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

156 Scopus citations


To assess the stability of different measures of receptor occupancy from [11C]raclopride (a D2 antagonist) studies with positron emission tomography, we analyze data from five test/retest studies in normal volunteers in terms of individual model parameters from a three-compartment model, the distribution volume (DV) and the ratio of DVs from a receptor-containing region of interest to a non-receptor-containing region. Large variations were found in the individual model parameters, limiting their usefulness as an indicator of change in receptor systems. The DV ratio showed the smallest variation. Individual differences were reflected in the greater intersubject variation in DV than intrasubject variation. The potential effects of blood flow on these measurements were addressed both experimentally and by simulation studies using three models that explicitly incorporate blood flow into a compartmental model that also includes receptor-ligand binding. None of the models showed any variation in the DV with changes in blood flow as long as flow was held constant during the simulation. Experimentally, blood flow was significantly reduced by hyperventilation in a human subject. The DV was found to be reduced relative to baseline in the hyperventilation study, but the DV ratio remained unchanged. The effect of elevated and reduced flow was also tested in two baboon experiments in which Pco2 was varied. Some variability in the DV ratio was observed but was not correlated with changes in blood flow. This raises the possibility that other factors indirectly related to changes in blood flow (or Pco2) may cause changes in DV, and these effects need to be considered when evaluating experimental results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1010
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood flow
  • Compartmental models
  • D2 receptors
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Raclopride


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of blood flow on [11C]raclopride binding in the brain: Model simulations and kinetic analysis of PET data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this