Review Article

European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 615-635

First online:

Value of 11C-methionine PET in imaging brain tumours and metastases

  • Andor W. J. M. GlaudemansAffiliated withDepartment of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen Email author 
  • , Roelien H. EntingAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen
  • , Mart A. A. M. HeestersAffiliated withDepartment of Radiotherapy, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen
  • , Rudi A. J. O. DierckxAffiliated withDepartment of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University Medical Center Groningen, University of GroningenGhent University
  • , Ronald W. J. van RheenenAffiliated withDepartment of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen
  • , Annemiek M. E. WalenkampAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen
  • , Riemer H. J. A. SlartAffiliated withDepartment of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen

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Abstract

11C-methionine (MET) is the most popular amino acid tracer used in PET imaging of brain tumours. Because of its characteristics, MET PET provides a high detection rate of brain tumours and good lesion delineation. This review focuses on the role of MET PET in imaging cerebral gliomas. The Introduction provides a clinical overview of what is important in primary brain tumours, recurrent brain tumours and brain metastases. The indications for radiotherapy and the results and problems arising after chemoradiotherapy in relation to imaging (pseudoprogression or radionecrosis) are discussed. The working mechanism, scan interpretation and quantification possibilities of MET PET are then explained. A literature overview is given of the role of MET PET in primary gliomas (diagnostic accuracy, grading, prognosis, assessment of tumour extent, biopsy and radiotherapy planning), in brain metastases, and in the differentiation between tumour recurrence and radiation necrosis. Finally, MET PET is compared to other nuclear imaging possibilities in brain tumour imaging.

Keywords

11C-Methionine MET PET PET tracers Cerebral glioma Brain metastases