Compartmental analysis of dynamic nuclear medicine data: models and identifiability


Compartmental models based on tracer mass balance are extensively used in clinical and pre-clinical nuclear medicine in order to obtain quantitative information on tracer metabolism in the biological tissue. This paper is the first of a series of two that deal with the problem of tracer coefficient estimation via compartmental modelling in an inverse problem framework. Specifically, here we discuss the identifiability problem for a general n-dimension compartmental system and provide uniqueness results in the case of two-compartment and three-compartment compartmental models. The second paper will utilize this framework in order to show how non-linear regularization schemes can be applied to obtain numerical estimates of the tracer coefficients in the case of nuclear medicine data corresponding to brain, liver and kidney physiology

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