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J Nucl Med. 2014 Nov;55(11):1805-10. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.114.142950. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

Regional brain glucose metabolism and neurocognitive function in adult survivors of childhood cancer treated with cranial radiation.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee kevin.krull@stjude.org.
2
Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
3
Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.
4
Athens Neurological Associates, Athens, Georgia.
5
Department of Radiological Sciences, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee; and.
6
Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee.

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine associations between regional brain metabolism, as measured by (18)F-FDG PET, and neurocognitive outcomes in adult survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with cranial radiation.

METHOD:

Thirty-eight adult survivors of ALL were randomly selected from a large cohort treated with cranial radiation therapy (19 with 18 Gy and 19 with 24 Gy of exposure). At a mean age of 26.4 (range, 22.3-37.4) years, and 23.5 (range, 20.4-32.8) years since diagnosis, patients underwent comprehensive neurocognitive evaluations and brain (18)F-FDG PET imaging during a resting condition. (18)F-FDG PET images were analyzed stereotactically, and pixel values were normalized to global activity. Predefined region-of-interest and voxel-based correlation analyses were performed.

RESULTS:

Compared with national norms, survivors demonstrated lower vocabulary (P < 0.001), reading (P < 0.001), mathematics (P < 0.001), working memory (P < 0.001), oral naming speed (P < 0.001), and cognitive flexibility (P < 0.001). Metabolic activity was higher in basal gangliar structures for those treated with 24 Gy of cranial radiation therapy (P = 0.04). Metabolic activity was positively correlated with oral naming speed in both lateral frontal lobes (ρ = 0.48 and 0.47 for right and left frontal regions, respectively, P < 0.01) and negatively correlated with cognitive flexibility in the sections of the basal ganglia (P < 0.01 for both caudate and putamen).

CONCLUSION:

Neurocognitive impairment in long-term survivors of ALL treated with cranial radiation appears to be associated with increased metabolic activity in frontal cerebral cortical and subcortical regions in the basal ganglia, suggesting decreased efficiency of the frontostriatal brain circuit.

KEYWORDS:

18F-FDG PET; childhood cancer survivor; neurocognitive function

PMID:
25315244
PMCID:
PMC4366940
DOI:
10.2967/jnumed.114.142950
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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