DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-3969-4Pages: 1242-1249

Biological tumour volumes of gliomas in early and standard 20–40 min 18F-FET PET images differ according to IDH mutation status

1. University Hospital, LMU Munich, Department of Nuclear Medicine

2. University Hospital, LMU Munich, Department of Neurosurgery

3. University Hospital, LMU Munich, Department of Neuropathology

4. German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Partner Site Munich; and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)

Correspondence to:
N. L. Albert
Tel: +49-89/440052431




For the clinical evaluation of O-(2-18F-fluoroethyl)-l-tyrosine (18F-FET) PET images, the use of standard summation images obtained 20–40 min after injection is recommended. However, early summation images obtained 5–15 min after injection have been reported to allow better differentiation between low-grade glioma (LGG) and high-grade glioma (HGG) by capturing the early 18F-FET uptake peak specific for HGG. We compared early and standard summation images with regard to delineation of the PET-derived biological tumour volume (BTV) in correlation with the molecular genetic profile according the updated 2016 WHO classification.


The analysis included 245 patients with newly diagnosed, histologically verified glioma and a positive 18F-FET PET scan prior to any further treatment. BTVs were delineated during the early 5–15 min and standard 20–40 min time frames using a threshold of 1.6 × background activity and were compared intraindividually. Volume differences between early and late summation images of >20% were considered significant and were correlated with WHO grade and the molecular genetic profile (IDH mutation and 1p/19q codeletion status).


In 52.2% of the patients (128/245), a significant difference in BTV of >20% between early and standard summation images was found. While 44.3% of WHO grade II gliomas (31 of 70) showed a significantly smaller BTV in the early summation images, 35.0% of WHO grade III gliomas (28/80) and 37.9% of WHO grade IV gliomas (36/95) had a significantly larger BTVs. Among IDH-wildtype gliomas, an even higher portion (44.4%, 67/151) showed significantly larger BTVs in the early summation images, which was observed in 5.3% (5/94) of IDH-mutant gliomas only: most of the latter had significantly smaller BTVs in the early summation images, i.e. 51.2% of IDH-mutant gliomas without 1p/19q codeletion (21/41) and 39.6% with 1p/19q codeletion (21/53).


BTVs delineated in early and standard summation images differed significantly in more than half of gliomas. While the standard summation images seem appropriate for delineation of LGG as well as IDH-mutant gliomas, a remarkably high percentage of HGG and, particularly, IDH-wildtype gliomas were depicted with significantly larger volumes in early summation images. This finding might be of interest for optimization of treatment planning (e.g. radiotherapy) in accordance with the individual IDH mutation status.

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  • Accepted: Feb 2, 2018
  • Online: Feb 27, 2018

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