[en] Brain/radionuclide imaging ; Brain Neoplasms/mortality/radionuclide imaging/surgery ; Carbon Radioisotopes/diagnostic use ; Female ; Fluorine Radioisotopes/diagnostic use ; Fluorodeoxyglucose F18/diagnostic use ; Glioma/mortality/radionuclide imaging/surgery ; Humans ; Male ; Methionine/diagnostic use ; Middle Aged ; Radiopharmaceuticals/diagnostic use ; Survival Analysis ; Tomography, Emission-Computed
[en] This study evaluates the usefulness of PET for the preoperative evaluation of brain gliomas and methods of quantification of PET results. METHODS: Fifty-four patients with brain gliomas were studied by PET with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) (n = 45) and/or 11C-methionine (MET) (n = 41) before any treatment. Results of visual analysis, calculation of glucose consumption and five tumor-to-normal brain ratios for both tracers were correlated with two histologic grading systems and with follow-up. RESULTS: Visual analysis (for FDG) and tumor-to-mean cortical uptake (T/MCU) ratio proved to be the best tools for the evaluation of PET results. Methionine was proven to be better than FDG at delineating low-grade gliomas. Tumor-to-mean cortical uptake ratios for FDG and MET were clearly correlated (r = 0.78), leading to the equation T/MCU(FDG) = 0.4 x T/MCU(MET). We showed a good correlation between FDG PET and histologic grading. MET uptake could not differentiate between low-grade and anaplastic astrocytomas but was significantly increased in glioblastomas. Low-grade oligodendrogliomas exhibited high uptake of FDG and MET, probably depending more on oligodendroglial cellular differentiation than on proliferative potential. Uptake was decreased in anaplastic oligodendrogliomas, probably due to dedifferentiation. Care must be taken with peculiar histologic subgroups, i.e., juvenile pilocytic astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas, because of a discrepancy between high PET metabolism and low proliferative potential (good prognosis). Both tracers proved useful for the prediction of survival prognosis. Methionine proved slightly superior to FDG for predicting the histologic grade and prognosis of gliomas, despite the impossibility of differentiation between Grades II and III astrocytomas with MET. This superiority of MET could be explained by patient sampling (low number of Grade III gliomas submitted to examination with both tracers). The combination of both tracers improved the overall results compared to each tracer alone. CONCLUSION: Both tracers are useful for the prediction of the histologic grade and prognosis. The apparent superiority of MET over FDG could be due to the small number of Grade III gliomas studied with both tracers.