Evaluation of brain tumors using dynamic 11C-methionine-PET

J Neurooncol. 2012 Aug;109(1):115-22. doi: 10.1007/s11060-012-0873-9. Epub 2012 Apr 22.


The aim of this study is to assess whether dynamic imaging of (11)C-methionine (MET) uptake on positron emission tomography (PET) is useful for the differential diagnosis of brain tumor histology. Regional MET uptake in static brain PET scans from three consecutive phases (5-15, 15-25, and 25-35 min) after intravenous injection were measured in 144 patients with brain tumors. Regions of interest (ROI) were placed in the pituitary gland, confluence, choroid plexus, coronal radiation, brainstem, frontal cortex, parietal cortex, cerebellum, and brain tumors. The standard uptake value (SUV) of the ROIs in the normal brain structures and brain tumors were measured, and the mean MET SUV region/normal frontal lobe cortex uptake ratio (R/N ratio) of the normal brain structures and the maximum MET SUV tumor/normal frontal cortex uptake ratio (T/N ratio) were evaluated semi-quantitatively. There were significant dynamic declines of the mean MET R/N ratio in the normal pituitary gland and confluence; however, there were significant dynamic increases in white matter. Significant dynamic decrease of the maximum MET T/N ratio was seen in meningiomas and oligodendrocytic tumors, whereas significant dynamic increase was seen in glioblastomas and malignant lymphomas. Dynamic changes of MET uptake vary significantly with the normal brain structures and brain tumor histology. These results suggest that MET-PET may be useful in the differential diagnosis of brain tumors.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carbon Radioisotopes*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methionine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Prognosis
  • Radiopharmaceuticals*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • carbon-11 methionine
  • Methionine