An Intra-Individual Comparison of MRI, [18F]-FET and [18F]-FLT PET in Patients with High-Grade Gliomas.

PloS one

PubMedID: 24759867

Nowosielski M, Difranco MD, Putzer D, Seiz M, Recheis W, Jacobs AH, Stockhammer G, Hutterer M. An Intra-Individual Comparison of MRI, [18F]-FET and [18F]-FLT PET in Patients with High-Grade Gliomas. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(4):e95830.
OBJECTIVES
Intra-individual spatial overlap analysis of tumor volumes assessed by MRI, the amino acid PET tracer [18F]-FET and the nucleoside PET tracer [18F]-FLT in high-grade gliomas (HGG).

METHODS
MRI, [18F]-FET and [18F]-FLT PET data sets were retrospectively analyzed in 23 HGG patients. Morphologic tumor volumes on MRI (post-contrast T1 (cT1) and T2 images) were calculated using a semi-automatic image segmentation method. Metabolic tumor volumes for [18F]-FET and [18F]-FLT PETs were determined by image segmentation using a threshold-based volume of interest analysis. After co-registration with MRI the morphologic and metabolic tumor volumes were compared on an intra-individual basis in order to estimate spatial overlaps using the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient and the Mann-Whitney U test.

RESULTS
[18F]-FLT uptake was negative in tumors with no or only moderate contrast enhancement on MRI, detecting only 21 of 23 (91%) HGG. In addition, [18F]-FLT uptake was mainly restricted to cT1 tumor areas on MRI and [18F]-FLT volumes strongly correlated with cT1 volumes (r?=?0.841, p<0.001). In contrast, [18F]-FET PET detected 22 of 23 (96%) HGG. [18F]-FET uptake beyond areas of cT1 was found in 61% of cases and [18F]-FET volumes showed only a moderate correlation with cT1 volumes (r?=?0.573, p<0.001). Metabolic tumor volumes beyond cT1 tumor areas were significantly larger for [18F]-FET compared to [18F]-FLT tracer uptake (8.3 vs. 2.7 cm3, p<0.001).

CONCLUSION
In HGG [18F]-FET but not [18F]-FLT PET was able to detect metabolic active tumor tissue beyond contrast enhancing tumor on MRI. In contrast to [18F]-FET, blood-brain barrier breakdown seems to be a prerequisite for [18F]-FLT tracer uptake.