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Detection of cranial meningiomas: comparison of 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT and contrast-enhanced MRI

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PET imaging with somatostatin receptor ligands, such as 68Ga-DOTATOC, is a well-established method for detection and target volume definition of meningiomas prior to radiotherapy. Since DOTATOC PET delivers a higher contrast between meningiomas and surrounding tissues than MRI, we conducted a retrospective analysis to compare the diagnostic accuracy of contrast-enhanced MRI (CE-MRI) with 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT in patients with cranial meningiomas prior to radiotherapy.


Over a period of 6 years, 134 patients (20–82 years of age, 107 women and 27 men) underwent cranial CE-MRI and 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT. To compare the two methods, the lesions considered typical of meningiomas visually were counted and analysed with respect to their location and SUVmax.


In the 134 patients investigated by both modalities, 190 meningiomas were detected by 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT and 171 by CE-MRI. With knowledge of the PET/CT data, the MRI scans were reinvestigated, which led to the detection of 4 of the 19 incidental meningiomas, resulting in an overall detection rate of 92 % of the meningioma lesions that were found by PET/CT.


Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT demonstrated an improved sensitivity in meningioma detection when compared to CE-MRI. Tumours adjacent to the falx cerebri, located at the skull base or obscured by imaging artefacts or calcification are particularly difficult to detect by MRI. Therefore 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT may provide additional information in patients with uncertain or equivocal results on MRI or could help to confirm a diagnosis of meningioma based on MRI or could help to confirm MRI-based diagnosis of meningiomas in cases of biopsy limitations. It is possible that not only radiotherapy and surgical planning, but also follow-up strategies would benefit from this imaging modality.

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Correspondence to Ali Afshar-Oromieh.

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Afshar-Oromieh, A., Giesel, F.L., Linhart, H.G. et al. Detection of cranial meningiomas: comparison of 68Ga-DOTATOC PET/CT and contrast-enhanced MRI. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 39, 1409–1415 (2012).

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