Diagnosis of recurrent brain tumor: value of 201Tl SPECT vs 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET

AJR. American Journal of Roentgenology
D KahnP T Kirchner


This prospective study was designed to compare the sensitivity and specificity of a relatively simple examination, 201Tl chloride single-photon emission CT (SPECT), with a more complex examination, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET), in patients thought to have recurrent brain tumor. Because both agents have been shown to be markers of viable tumor, we hypothesized that their sensitivity and specificity should be the same. Nineteen patients with evidence of recurrent tumor on CT or MR images were studied with both 201Tl SPECT and FDG PET imaging. Two patients were examined twice, so a total of 21 studies were evaluated. The 201Tl SPECT and FDG PET examinations were performed on the same day in 17 patients, and the remaining four examinations were done within 1 week of one another. Three reviewers independently interpreted each Tl SPECT and PET scan. Inappropriate regional increases in 201Tl or FDG activity were considered indicative of tumor recurrence. Sensitivity and specificity values were based on biopsy results and clinical follow-up. The final diagnosis was tumor recurrence in 16 cases and radiation necrosis in 5 cases. The relationship of scan results to survival was analyzed. The sensitivity...Continue Reading


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