Journal of neuro-oncology 2017 11 17() doi 10.1007/s11060-017-2686-3
The actual role of 18F-FDG PET/CT in evaluating primary brain lymphoma is still an open issue. Brain lymphoma usually show elevated 18F-FDG uptake, often higher than other brain tumors or inflammatory processes, but the metabolic behavior of this lymphoma is not still understood. Our aim was to investigate the particular metabolic behavior of this lymphoma. Forty six patients (21 female, 25 male) with histologically-confirmed brain lymphoma who underwent 18F-FDG PET/CT from vertex to the mid-thigh for initial staging were retrospectively evaluated. The PET images were analyzed visually and semi-quantitatively by measuring the maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax), lesion-to-liver SUVmax ratio, lesion-to-blood pool SUVmax ratio and the tumor to normal brain uptake ratio (T/N ratio) and compared with epidemiological (age, sex, HIV infection) and morphological (tumor size, MRI appearance) characteristics. Thirty-eight patients (83%) had positive 18F-FDG PET/CT (average SUVmax was 15.6 ± 9.2; lesion-to-liver SUVmax ratio 5.8 ± 2.8; lesion-to-blood pool SUVmax ratio 7.1 ± 3.8, T/N ratio 3.1 ± 1.7) at the corresponding brain lesion; the remaining 8 (17%) were not 18F-FDG avid. 18F-FDG avidity was significantly associated with morphological appearance and tumor size and not correlated with other features. 18F-FDG PET/CT detected extracranial disease in two cases (4%) with negative bone marrow biopsies and CT. In conclusion, brain lymphomas are 18F-FDG avid in 83% of cases showing high 18F-FDG uptake and 18F-FDG avidity is correlated with tumor size and morphological appearance of the lesion. PET/CT helped to recognize extracranial disease in two patients.