Spatial distribution of malignant tissue in gliomas: correlations of 11C-L-methionine positron emission tomography and perfusion- and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging

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BACKGROUND: The prognosis of glioma patients is contingent on precise target selection for stereotactic biopsies and the extent of tumor resection. (11)C-L-methionine (MET) positron emission tomography (PET) demonstrates tumor heterogeneity and invasion with high diagnostic accuracy.

PURPOSE: To compare the spatial tumor distribution delineated by MET PET with that by perfusion- and diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in order to understand the diagnostic value of these MRI methods, when PET is not available.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Presurgical MET PET and MRI, including perfusion- and diffusion-weighted MRI, were acquired in 13 patients (7 high-grade gliomas, 6 low-grade gliomas). A quantitative volume of interest analysis was performed to compare the modalities objectively, supplemented by a qualitative evaluation that assessed the clinical applicability.

RESULTS: The inaccuracy of conventional MRI was confirmed (area under the curve for predicting voxels with high MET uptake = 0.657), whereas cerebral blood volume (CBV) maps calculated from perfusion data improved accuracy (area under the curve = 0.760). We considered CBV maps diagnostically comparable to MET PET in 5/7 cases of high-grade gliomas, but insufficient in all cases of low-grade gliomas when evaluated subjectively. Cerebral blood flow and apparent diffusion coefficient maps did not contribute to further accuracy.

CONCLUSION: Adding perfusion-weighted MRI to the presurgical protocol can increase the diagnostic accuracy of conventional MRI and is a simple and well-established method compared to MET PET. However, the definition of low-grade gliomas with subtle or no alterations on cerebral blood volume maps remains a diagnostic challenge for stand-alone MRI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Radiologica
Pages (from-to)1135-44
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2015

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