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Diagnostic Accuracy of MR Spectroscopic Imaging and 18 F-FET PET for Identifying Glioma: A Biopsy-Controlled Hybrid PET/MRI Study.

Contrast-enhanced MRI is the method of choice for brain tumor diagnostics, despite its low specificity for tumor tissue. This study compared the contribution of MR spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) and amino acid PET to improve the detection of tumor tissue. Methods: In 30 untreated patients with suspected glioma, O -(2-[18 F]fluoroethyl)-l-tyrosine (18 F-FET) PET; 3-T MRSI with a short echo time; and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery, T2-weighted, and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI were performed for stereotactic biopsy planning. Serial samples were taken along the needle trajectory, and their masks were projected to the preoperative imaging data. Each sample was individually evaluated neuropathologically. 18 F-FET uptake and the MRSI signals choline (Cho), N -acetyl-aspartate (NAA), creatine, myoinositol, and derived ratios were evaluated for each sample and classified using logistic regression. The diagnostic accuracy was evaluated by receiver operating characteristic analysis. Results: On the basis of the neuropathologic evaluation of tissue from 88 stereotactic biopsies, supplemented with 18 F-FET PET and MRSI metrics from 20 areas on the healthy-appearing contralateral hemisphere to balance the glioma/nonglioma groups, 18 F-FET PET identified glioma with the highest accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.81-0.93; threshold, 1.4 × background uptake). Among the MR spectroscopic metabolites, Cho/NAA normalized to normal brain tissue showed the highest diagnostic accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.71-0.88; threshold, 2.2). The combination of 18 F-FET PET and normalized Cho/NAA did not improve the diagnostic performance. Conclusion: MRI-based delineation of gliomas should preferably be supplemented by 18 F-FET PET.

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