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Validation of 18F-FDG PET at Conventional and Delayed Intervals for the Discrimination of High-Grade From Low-Grade Gliomas: A Stereotactic PET and MRI Study

Mertens, Koen MSc*; Acou, Marjan MD; Van Hauwe, Jel MD*; De Ruyck, Ine MD*; Van den Broecke, Caroline MD; Kalala, Jean-Pierre Okito MD, PhD§; D’Asseler, Yves PhD*; Goethals, Ingeborg MD, PhD*

doi: 10.1097/RLU.0b013e318292a753
Original Articles

Aim The aim of this study was to validate 18F-FDG PET imaging for differentiating high-grade gliomas (HGGs) from low-grade gliomas (LGGs).

Methods Twenty-one patients with gliomas undergoing a stereotactic biopsy underwent PET scanning at conventional and delayed intervals, diagnostic and stereotactic MR examinations. To calculate the uptake at the biopsy site, a 2-mm voxel was selected. Uptake in this voxel was expressed as a percentage of the average uptake per voxel in the normal brain. The difference in uptake between HGG and LGG at conventional and late intervals and the difference in uptake difference between HGG and LGG at both intervals were analyzed using t tests as well as a mixed-model analysis of variance.

Results At conventional intervals, uptake in LGG was 67% of that in the normal brain. Between early and late intervals, a significant decrease in uptake of 11% (±2.5%) was noted (P = 0.001). Uptake in HGG at conventional intervals was 138% of that in the normal brain. Between early and late intervals, a significant increase in uptake of 43% (±11%) was noted (P = 0.005). The difference in uptake between HGG and LGG was significant both at conventional and delayed intervals (P < 0.001). Moreover, the difference in uptake between both groups was significantly greater (31%) at delayed than at conventional intervals (2%) (P < 0.001).

Conclusions The results of this correlative study between tumor grade and 18F-FDG uptake both determined at the stereotactic biopsy site indicate that PET, particularly at delayed intervals, is valid for discriminating LGG from HGG.

From the Departments of *Nuclear Medicine, †Radiology and Medical Imaging, ‡Pathology, and §Neurosurgery, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Received for publication June 27, 2012; revision accepted February 24, 2013.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Ingeborg Goethals, MD, PhD, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Polikliniek 7, Ghent University Hospital, De Pintelaan, 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins