Whole-Body [18F]FDG PET in the Management of Metastatic Brain Tumours
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Background To determine its roles in the diagnosis and the systemic evaluation of metastatic brain tumours, whole-body positron emission tomography (PET) using [18F]FDG was performed in 20 consecutive patients.
All patients were thought to be suffering or needing to be differentiated from metastatic brain tumours. Nine patients had multiple brain lesions; six were older and showed a rim-enhancing lesion with surrounding oedema; seven had homogeneously enhancing periventricular lesion(s) on computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, thought to be central nervous system lymphomas. Two patients had skull mass(es) and two patients had a solid mass suspected to be, respectively, a haemorrhagic metastasis and a metastatic malignant melanoma. All of them received whole-body [18F]FDG PET and conventional systemic work-up for metastasis in order to compare the results of the two methods.
Metastatic brain tumours were diagnosed on whole-body [18F]FDG PET in eleven patients who had extracranial and intracranial hypermetabolic lesions. In nine of these, a conventional work-up also detected primary lesions which on whole-body [18F]FDG PET were seen to be hypermetabolic foci. Systemic lymph node metastases were detected by whole-body [18F]FDG PET only in two patients and histological diagnosis was possible by biopsy of lymph nodes rather than of brain lesions. In the remaining nine patients who had only intracranial hypermetabolic foci, histological diagnosis was made by craniotomy or stereotactic biopsy. It was confirmed that seven of nine patients were suffering from a primary brain tumour and two from metastatic carcinoma. None of the nine showed evidence of systemic cancer on conventional work-up. Histological diagnoses of the primary brain tumours were four cases of primary central nervous system lymphoma and one each of multifocal glioblastoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and cavernous angioma.
Patients felt no discomfort during the whole-body [18F]FDG PET procedure and there were no complications. The false negative rate in [18F]FDG PET and in conventional work-up was 15.4% and 30.7% respectively. There were no false positives on either [18F]FDG PET or conventional work-up.
It is suggested that whole-body [18F]FDG PET is a safe, reliable, and convenient method for the diagnosis and systemic evaluation of patients thought to be suffering or needing to be differentiated from a metastatic brain tumour.
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