Repeatability of 18F-FLT PET in a multicenter study of patients with high-grade glioma

Academic Article


  • Quantitative 39-deoxy-39-18F-fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) PET has potential as a noninvasive tumor biomarker for the objective assessment of response to treatment. To guide interpretation of these quantitative data, we evaluated the repeatability of 18F-FLT PET as part of a multicenter trial involving patients with high-grade glioma. Methods: 18F-FLT PET was performed on 10 patients with recurrent high-grade glioma at 5 different institutions within the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium trial ABTC1101. Data were acquired according to a double baseline protocol in which PET examinations were repeated within 2 d of each other with no intervening treatment. On each of the 2 imaging days, dedicated brain PET was performed at 2 time points, 1 and 3 h after 18F-FLT administration. Tumor SUVs and related parameters were measured at a central laboratory using various volumes of interest: isocontour at 30% of the maximum pixel (SUVmean-30%), gradient-based segmentation (SUVmean-gradient), the maximum pixel (SUVmax), and a 1-mL sphere at the region of highest uptake (SUVpeak). Repeatability coefficients (RCs) were calculated fromthe relative differences between corresponding SUV measurements obtained on the 2 d. Results: RCs for tumor SUVs were 22.5% (SUVmean-30%), 23.8% (SUVmean-gradient), 23.2% (SUVmax), and 18.5% (SUVpeak) at 1 h after injection. Corresponding data at 3 h were 22.4%, 25.0%, 27.3%, and 23.6%. Normalizing the tumor SUV data with reference to a background region improved repeatability, and the most stable parameter was the tumor-to-background ratio derived using SUVpeak (RC, 16.5%). Conclusion: SUV quantification of 18F-FLT uptake in glioma had an RC in the range of 18%- 24% when imaging began 1 h after 18F-FLT administration. The volume-of-interest methodology had a small but not negligible influence on repeatability, with the best performance obtained using SUVpeak. Although changes in 18F-FLT SUV after treatment cannot be directly interpreted as a change in tumor proliferation, we have established ranges beyond which SUV differences are likely due to legitimate biologic effects.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lodge MA; Holdhoff M; Leal JP; Bag AK; Nabors LB; Mintz A; Lesser GJ; Mankoff DA; Desai AS; Mountz JM
  • Start Page

  • 393
  • End Page

  • 398
  • Volume

  • 58
  • Issue

  • 3