American Journal of Neuroradiology vol:27 issue:7 pages:1432-1437
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: [(11)C]Methionine (MET) PET imaging is a sensitive technique for visualizing primary brain tumors and recurrence/progression after therapy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the uptake of MET and histopathologic grading and to investigate the prognostic value of the tracer, in both settings. METHODS: Cerebral uptake of MET was determined in 52 patients: in 26 patients for primary staging (group A) and 26 patients with suspected brain tumor recurrence/progression after therapy (group B). Semiquantitative methionine uptake indices (UI) defined by the tumor (maximum)-to-background ratio was correlated with tumor grade and final outcome. RESULTS: Overall median survival was 34.9 months. MET showed pathologically increased uptake in 41 of 52 scans. Although a weak linear correlation between MET uptake and grading was observed (R = 0.38, P = .028), analysis of variance showed no significant differences in MET UI between tumor grades for either group A or B. Benign and grade I lesions showed significant difference in MET uptake in comparison with higher grade lesions (P = .006). Using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis, no thresholds could be found at which MET was predictive for survival. Proportional hazard regression showed that only WHO grading class (low versus high) was predictive of survival (P = .015). CONCLUSION: Interindividual MET uptake variability does not allow noninvasive grading on an individual patient basis. Moreover, there is no significant prognostic value in studying maximal methionine UI in brain tumors. The clinical use of MET should therefore be primarily focused on questions such as detection of recurrence, biopsy guidance, and radiation therapy target volume delineation.