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Br J Radiol. 2011 Apr;84(1000):327-33. doi: 10.1259/bjr/48528504. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Prognostic significance of parameters derived from co-registered 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET and contrast-enhanced MRI in patients with high-grade glioma.

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Duke University Medical Center, Department of Radiology, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



The aim of this study was to determine the prognostic significance of the volume and intensity of abnormal (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) accumulation within areas of contrast enhancement on post-therapeutic volumetric MRI.


A total of 10 patients with Grade III or IV glioma were treated with resection followed by intracavitary radiation therapy with (131)I-labelled antitenascin monoclonal antibody. Patients underwent serial FDG-PET and 1.5 T MR imaging. For each patient, MR and FDG-PET image volumes at each time point were aligned using a rigid-body normalised mutual information algorithm. Contrast-enhancing regions of interest (ROIs) were defined using a semi-automated k-means clustering technique. Activity within the ROI on the co-registered PET scan was calculated as a ratio (mean activity ratio; MAR) to activity in contralateral normal-appearing white matter (NAWM). The PET lesion was defined as the portion of the ROI associated with activity greater than two standard deviations above the mean in NAWM. Survival was assessed using the logrank test.


Larger contrast-enhancing ROIs were strongly associated with an increased MAR (r = 0.51; p<0.002). Enhancing lesions with an MAR >1.2 were associated with decreased survival (p<0.016). In nine patients who died, the MAR on PET correlated inversely with survival duration (r = -0.43; p<0.01), whereas PET lesion volume did not.


Following intracavitary radiation therapy, the development of contrast-enhancing lesions that are associated with high mean FDG-PET accumulation suggests poor prognosis.

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