Thallium-201 SPECT in prognostic assessment of malignant gliomas treated with postoperative radiotherapy

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This study was designed to investigate the value of preoperative thallium-201 (201Tl) SPECT as a predictor of outcome in malignant glioma.


From January 1990 to September 2003, 109 patients with glioma were treated with postoperative radiotherapy. Of these, 36 patients with malignant gliomas who underwent preoperative 201T1-SPECT were included in this study (grade 3: n = 14, grade 4: n = 22). On early (10 minutes) and delayed (2 hours) images after 111 MBq 201T1C1 injection, we calculated radioactivity ratios of tumors to contralateral normal brain (T/N ratios) and retention indices (RIs). For early and delayed images, we compared outcome between a high T/N ratio group (T/N ratio equal or greater than the average) and a low T/N ratio group (T/ N ratio less than the average). We also divided the patients into two groups on the basis of RI; a high RI group (RI equal or greater than the average) and a low RI group (RI less than the average), and similarly compared outcome between the two groups. asResults


Median survival time was 12 months for both grade 3 and grade 4 tumors; however, two-year survival was 53% for grade 3 and 15% for grade 4. In both early and delayed images, outcome was significantly better for patients with low T/N ratios (early <4.71, delayed <3.96) than those with high T/N ratios (early: p = 0.030, delayed: p = 0.049). However, no significant survival difference was apparent between the low- (< -12.25) and high RI groups. In grade 3 glioma, patients with high T/N ratios demonstrated a tendency toward poorer outcome, although this trend was not significant (early: p = 0.079, delayed: p = 0.099). Overall outcome was poor for grade 4 glioma, and the difference in survival between low and high T/N ratio groups was not significant (early: p = 0.51, delayed: p = 0.53). However, long survival was seen only in patients with lower T/N ratios.


Differences of 201T1 uptake in malignant gliomas could predict outcome. 201T1-SPECT is potentially useful in the management of patients with malignant gliomas.

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