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Neurology. 1998 May;50(5):1316-22.

11C-methionine PET for differential diagnosis of low-grade gliomas.

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Klinik für Neurologie, Universität zu Köln, Germany.


Management of low-grade gliomas continues to be a challenging task, because CT and MRI do not always differentiate from nontumoral lesions. Furthermore, tumor extent and aggressiveness often remain unclear because of a lack of contrast enhancement. Previous studies indicated that large neutral amino acid tracers accumulate in most brain tumors, including low-grade gliomas, probably because of changes of endothelial and blood-brain barrier function. We describe 11C-methionine uptake measured with PET in a series of 196 consecutive patients, most of whom were studied because of suspected low-grade gliomas. Uptake in the most active lesion area, relative to contralateral side, was significantly different among high-grade gliomas, low-grade gliomas, and chronic or subacute nontumoral lesions, and this difference was independent from contrast enhancement in CT or MRI. Corticosteroids had no significant effect on methionine uptake in low-grade gliomas but reduced uptake moderately in high-grade gliomas. Differentiation between gliomas and nontumoral lesions by a simple threshold was correct in 79%. Recurrent or residual tumors had a higher uptake than primary gliomas. In conclusion, the high sensitivity of 11C-methionine uptake for functional endothelial or blood-brain barrier changes suggests that this tracer is particularly useful for evaluation and follow-up of low-grade gliomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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