18F-FET-PET guided surgical biopsy and resection in children and adolescence with brain tumors



MRI alone has its limitations for target selection in biopsy or resection in newly diagnosed and pretreated pediatric brain tumor patients. 18F-FET-PET imaging is considered to identify metabolically active tumor tissue and to differentiate it from therapy-associated changes. We retrospectively analyzed our experience with 18F-FET-PET in targeted surgical interventions for pediatric brain tumors.


In 26 cases with lesions suspicious of a growing brain tumor on MRI, either newly diagnosed or after antitumoral treatment led to 18F-FET-PET imaging for target selection prior to stereotactic biopsy, navigated open biopsy or navigated microsurgical tumor resection. Indications for 18F-FET-PET imaging were visualization of metabolic active tumor tissue within diffuse tumors or pretreated lesions as well as depicting their extent.


18F-FET-PET integration in surgery was feasible in all patients using stereotaxy or neuronavigation. Sensitivity for tumor detection was 20/24. 18F-FET-PET was false positive in two pretreated patients.


18F-FET-PET imaging is helpful for target selection and can be integrated in surgical guidance. 18F-FET-PET image-guided surgical targeting yielded histological diagnosis with decent specificity and high sensitivity in our cohort of pediatric brain tumor patients. Our results warrant further evaluation of 18F-FET-PET imaging for surgical guidance.

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Correspondence to Ulrich-Wilhelm Thomale.

Additional information

Martin Misch and Andreas Guggemos contributed equally to this manuscript.

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Misch, M., Guggemos, A., Driever, P.H. et al. 18F-FET-PET guided surgical biopsy and resection in children and adolescence with brain tumors. Childs Nerv Syst 31, 261–267 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00381-014-2552-y

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  • Pediatric brain tumor
  • MRI
  • Neuronavigation
  • Stereotaxy
  • Targeted tissue sampling