Indexed on: 16 Aug '14Published on: 16 Aug '14Published in: Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
High-grade gliomas (HGGs) are the most common malignant primary tumors of the central nervous system. PET probes of amino acid transport such as O-(2-(18)F-fluoroethyl)-l-tyrosine ((18)F-FET), 3,4-dihydroxy-6-(18)F-fluoro-l-phenylalanine ((18)F-DOPA), and (11)C-methionine ((11)C-MET) detect primary and recurrent tumors with a high accuracy. (18)F-FET is predominantly used in Europe, whereas amino acid transport imaging is infrequently done in the United States. The aim of this study was to determine whether (18)F-FET and (18)F-DOPA PET/CT provide comparable information in HGG.Thirty (18)F-FET and (18)F-DOPA PET/CT scans were obtained before surgery or biopsy in 27 patients with high clinical suspicion for primary or recurrent HGG (5 primary, 22 recurrent tumors). (18)F-FET and (18)F-DOPA PET/CT images were compared visually and semiquantitatively (maximum standardized uptake value [SUV(max)], mean SUV [SUV(mean)]). Background (SUV(max) and SUV(mean)) and tumor-to-background ratios (TBRs) were calculated for both PET probes. The degree of (18)F-DOPA uptake in the basal ganglia (SUV(mean)) was also assessed.Visual analysis revealed no difference in tumor uptake pattern between the 2 PET probes. The SUV(mean) and SUV(max) for (18)F-FET were higher than those of (18)F-DOPA (4.0 ± 2.0 and 4.9 ± 2.3 vs. 3.5 ± 1.6 and 4.3 ± 2.0, respectively; all P < 0.001). TBRs for SUV(mean) but not for SUV(max) were significantly higher for (18)F-FET than (18)F-DOPA (TBR SUV(mean): 3.8 ± 1.7 vs. 3.4 ± 1.2, P = 0.004; TBR SUV(max): 3.3 ± 1.6 and 3.0 ± 1.1, respectively; P = 0.086). (18)F-DOPA uptake by the basal ganglia was present (SUV(mean), 2.6 ± 0.7) but did not affect tumor visualization.Whereas visual analysis revealed no significant differences in uptake pattern for (18)F-FET and (18)F-DOPA in patients with primary or recurrent HGG, both SUVs and TBRs for SUV(mean) were significantly higher for (18)F-FET. However, regarding tumor delineation, both tracers performed equally well and seem equally feasible for imaging of primary and recurrent HGG. These findings suggest that both PET probes can be used based on availability in multicenter trials.