PET-CT with any of various radiotracers is better than conventional MRI at showing the boundaries and necrotic tissue of brain tumors and other gliomas. However, MRI is better than any flavor of PET-CT at showing the tumors’ basic anatomical structure, making the MR scans essential to initial presurgical planning.
Hence the increasing use of both PET-CT and MRI in tandem, according to the authors of a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature.
The researchers, from Tianjin Medical University in China and Columbia University in New York, published their findings Sept. 16 in Neurosurgical Review.
For the study, two reviewers independently searched PubMed and Cochrane Library. Narrowing the field to 15 study reports mineable for pros and cons of glioma imaging with MRI and PET-CT with either 18F-FDG, 11C-MET, 18F-FET or 18F-FLT, the authors used a non-quantitative approach because the sample size was small and the dataset incomplete.
“PET-CT examinations based on tumor metabolism using different tracers have more advantages in determining the degree of glioma malignancy and boundaries,” the authors conclude. “However, information provided by PET-CT of different tracers is not the same. With respect to the novel hybrid MRI/PET examination equipment proposed in recent years, the combination of MRI and PET-CT can definitively improve the diagnostic accuracy of glioma.”
Journal publisher Springer has posted the study in full for free.