(11)C-methionine uptake correlates with tumor cell density rather than with microvessel density in glioma: A stereotactic image-histology comparison

Neuroimage. 2010 Feb 15;49(4):2977-82. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2009.11.024. Epub 2009 Nov 24.


(11)C-methionine positron emission tomography ((11)C-methionine PET) provides accurate detection of brain tumors. Several reports have analyzed the correlation between uptake of (11)C-methionine and Ki-67 index or microvessel density non-stereotactically and suggested that (11)C-methionine uptake reflects both proliferation potential and angiogenic capability in gliomas. As gliomas possess heterogeneous histological architecture, non-stereotactic comparison of the histology and (11)C-methionine PET image may not be accurate. In the present study, the correlation between (11)C-methionine uptake and cell or microvessel density was analyzed using histological specimens obtained by stereotactic biopsy, and an exact local comparison of (11)C-methionine PET image and histological specimens was conducted. The tumor/normal tissue (T/N) ratio of (11)C-methionine positron emission tomography was found to correlate better with cell density (R=0.747, p=0.000042) and Ki-67 index (R=0.675, p=0.00041) than with microvessel density (R=0.467, p=0.025) in a histological comparison using a stereotactic image. Furthermore, multiple linear regression analysis revealed that cell density was the key determinant for predicting (11)C-methionine level while microvessel density was not. These results suggest that cell density contributes more to (11)C-methionine uptake than microvessel density in glioma tissues and that the previously reported correlation of (11)C-methionine uptake and microvessel density in glioma patients requires reevaluation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carbon Radioisotopes / pharmacokinetics
  • Cell Count
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Glioma / metabolism*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Methionine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Microvessels / diagnostic imaging*
  • Microvessels / metabolism*
  • Microvessels / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Young Adult


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Methionine