Because brain tumors can be histologically heterogeneous, stereotactic brain biopsies (SBB) may lead to inaccurate diagnosis or grading. Positron emission tomography (PET) has been used in pediatric neuro-oncology to help in the understanding and management of brain neoplasms. We combined PET and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the planning of SBB in 9 children (5 males and 4 females, aged 2-14 years) with infiltrative, ill-defined brain lesions. Tracers used for PET were (18)F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose in 4 cases, (11)C-methionine in 2 cases and both tracers in 3 cases. Biopsy targets were selected in hypermetabolic areas. PET-guided SBB provided accurate histological diagnosis in all patients and allowed a reduction of the number of trajectories in lesions located in functional areas. It also helped in better understanding and management of complex cases. This preliminary series suggests that combining PET and MR imaging in the planning of SBB in children (1) improves the diagnostic yield of SBB in infiltrative, ill-defined brain lesions, (2) makes it possible to reduce the sampling in high-risk/functional areas and (3) improves the quality of therapeutic management of pediatric brain tumors.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel