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Neuro Oncol. 2019 Oct 9;21(10):1331-1338. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noz083.

Photopenic defects on O-(2-[18F]-fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine PET: clinical relevance in glioma patients.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Cologne, University of Cologne, Germany.
2
Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-3/-4), Reseach Center Juelich, Juelich, Germany.
3
Center of Integrated Oncology (CIO), Universities of Aachen, Bonn, Cologne, and Düsseldorf, Germany.
4
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany.
5
Department of Neurosurgery, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany.
6
Department of Neurosurgery, LMU, Munich, Germany.
7
Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

O-(2-[18F]-fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (FET) PET has a sensitivity of more than 90% to detect gliomas. In the remaining small fraction of gliomas without increased tracer uptake, some tumors even show photopenic defects whose clinical significance is unclear.

METHODS:

Glioma patients with a negative FET PET scan prior to neuropathological confirmation were identified retrospectively. Gliomas were rated visually as (i) having indifferent FET uptake or (ii) photopenic, if FET uptake was below background activity. FET uptake in the area of signal hyperintensity on the T2/fluid attenuated inversion recovery-weighted MRI was evaluated by mean standardized uptake value (SUV) and mean tumor-to-brain ratio (TBR). The progression-free survival (PFS) of photopenic gliomas was compared with that of gliomas with indifferent FET uptake.

RESULTS:

Of 100 FET-negative gliomas, 40 cases with photopenic defects were identified. Fifteen of these 40 cases (38%) had World Health Organization (WHO) grades III and IV gliomas. FET uptake in photopenic gliomas was significantly decreased compared with both the healthy-appearing brain tissue (SUV, 0.89 ± 0.26 vs 1.08 ± 0.23; P < 0.001) and gliomas with indifferent FET uptake (TBR, 0.82 ± 0.09 vs 0.96 ± 0.13; P < 0.001). Irrespective of the applied treatment, isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH)-mutated WHO grade II diffuse astrocytoma patients with indifferent FET uptake (n = 25) had a significantly longer PFS than patients with IDH-mutated diffuse astrocytomas (WHO grade II) with photopenic defects (n = 11) (51 vs 24 mo; P = 0.027). The multivariate survival analysis indicated that photopenic defects predict an unfavorable PFS (P = 0.009).

CONCLUSION:

Photopenic gliomas in negative FET PET scans should be managed more actively, as they seem to have a higher risk of harboring a higher-grade glioma and an unfavorable outcome.

KEYWORDS:

FET PET; FET-negative gliomas; hypometabolic lesions; lower-grade glioma

PMID:
31077276
PMCID:
PMC6784268
[Available on 2020-10-09]
DOI:
10.1093/neuonc/noz083

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