Diagnostic performance of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography in the evaluation of glioma

Tristan B. Shaw, Rosalind L. Jeffree, Paul Thomas, Steven Goodman, Maciej Debowski, Zarnie Lwin, Benjamin Chua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Identifying glioma grade through imaging allows clinicians to recommend and accurately direct treatment. We sought to quantify the utility of FDG-PET/CT (18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography), alone and in combination with MRI, in identifying high-grade regions of glioma. Methods: This is a retrospective review of patients who had an FDG-PET/CT performed as part of the workup of suspected glioma or in follow-up of known glioma. FDG-PET/CT scans were reviewed and uptake in the identifiable lesion coded as none, diffusely or focally increased. Patients also underwent gadolinium-enhanced MRI, noting regions of contrast enhancement. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV) were calculated for identification of high-grade histology (WHO III or IV, or metastatic disease) obtained post-FDG-PET/CT. Results: Thirty-three patients had 36 FDG-PET/CT and MRI scans followed by histological confirmation (biopsy or debulking). Increased FDG uptake demonstrated a sensitivity of 59% and specificity of 79%, PPV of 81% and NPV of 55% for identification of high-grade histology. MRI demonstrated a sensitivity of 77% and specificity of 86%, PPV of 89% and NPV of 71% for identification of high-grade histology. Only 64% of MRI and FDG-PET/CT scan series were concordant. When FDG-PET/CT and MRI were concordant, a specificity of 100% and PPV of 100% was achieved, however, sensitivity was 79% and NPV was 75%. Conclusion: The combination of FDG-PET/CT and gadolinium-enhanced MRI demonstrated marked improvement in identifying potential high-grade disease over each modality alone. Increased FDG uptake without gadolinium enhancement rarely occurred and identified high-grade histology in a small number of patients. Due to limited sensitivity and NPV, a negative FDG-PET/CT alone, or in combination with MRI, should not guide a decision for observation where surgery would otherwise be recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-656
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • brain tumour
  • fluorodeoxyglucose
  • glioma
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • positron emission tomography

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