Comparative Evaluation of F-18 FDOPA, F-18 FDG, and F-18 FLT-PET/CT for Metabolic Imaging of Low Grade Gliomas

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We undertook this prospective study to compare amino acid metabolism, glucose metabolism, and proliferation in primary and recurrent low grade gliomas using positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography with F-18 FDOPA, F-18 FDG, and F-18 FLT.


Fifteen patients with newly diagnosed or previously treated low grade gliomas (WHO grade I or II) were subjected to F-18-FDOPA, F-18 FDG, and F-18 FLT PET/computed tomography studies on consecutive days. This included 2 patients in remission as control subjects. Uptake of all the 3 tracers were analyzed visually and quantified using standardized uptake values and tumor to normal (T/N) ratios. The accuracy of all the 3 PET tracers in the detection of newly diagnosed and recurrent low grade gliomas was compared.


F-18 FDOPA was positive in all cases of primary and recurrent low grade gliomas and negative in the patients in remission. Tumor was visualized on F-18 FDG in 7 of 13 cases, F-18-FLT was positive in 4 of 13 cases. Average tumor standardized uptake values max for F-18 FDOPA (5.75 ± 4.9) and F-18 FLT (1.8 ± 0.91) was lower than that of F-18 FDG (8.5 ± 4.4). T/N ratios for F-18-FDOPA (2.3 ± 0.51) and F-18 FLT (1.8 ± 0.91) were higher than F-18 FDG (1.03 ± 0.64) providing good image contrast for tumor detection in positive cases.


F-18 FDOPA scan is superior to both F-18 FLT and F-18 FDG for visualization of primary and recurrent low grade gliomas. F-18-FLT should not be considered for evaluation of recurrent low grade gliomas.

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