Increased brain glucose metabolism in chronic severe traumatic brain injury as determined by longitudinal 18F-FDG PET/CT

J Clin Neurosci. 2018 Nov:57:20-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2018.08.052. Epub 2018 Aug 29.


Little is known about changes in glucose metabolism in patients with chronic severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI). It remains to be elucidated how neurological manifestations of sTBI are associated with brain glucose metabolism during longitudinal follow-up. We show here that neurological manifestations are associated with changes of brain glucose metabolism by using two serial 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) images. In this longitudinal observational study, two serial 18F-FDG PET/CT images from each of 45 patients were analyzed for whole-brain maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax). For clinical assessment, we applied two different scales: the coma recovery scale-revised and the original Chiba score with additional information regarding nutrition, excretion, facial expression, and position change of the patient's relative immobility and bedridden state. As a result, the increased FDG uptake group was associated with a high level of wakefulness (first PET, p = 0.04; second PET, p = 0.01) and small ventricular size (first PET, p = 0.01; second PET, p = 0.01). In addition, anticonvulsant withdrawal (p = 0.001), improvement of total Chiba score (p = 0.01), language expression (p = 0.03), position change (p = 0.03), and communication (p = 0.03) were accelerated in the increased FDG uptake group. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients of change in SUVmax and language expression between the first and second PET were 0.4 (p = 0.01). Our results indicate that chronic severe traumatic head injury patients have changed brain glucose metabolism.

Keywords: Brain injury; Fluorodeoxyglucose F(18); Longitudinal study; Positron emission tomography computed tomography.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / metabolism*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18 / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glucose