In patients with malignant gliomas, [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) may discriminate tumor progression from radionecrosis. We evaluated data from 50 patients undergoing FDG-PET for suspicion of tumor progression. Forty-nine were treated with surgery, 48 with radiotherapy, and 37 with chemotherapy. Twenty-one had intensive radiotherapy with either three daily treatments in two 5-day periods and intravenous carboplatin (17) or interstitial brachytherapy or stereotactic radiotherapy. Twenty underwent surgery after magnetic resonance imaging/FDG-PET; 9 demonstrated increased uptake of FDG and evidence of tumor, whereas 6 had decreased uptake and no evidence of tumor. In 5 patients, there was no correlation (all had intensive radiotherapy). In 17 patients who received bromodeoxyuridine intravenously just before surgery, the bromodeoxyuridine labeling index corresponded to the histological appearance in all but 2 patients (both had received intensive radiotherapy). In 30 patients without surgery, decreased uptake of FDG suggested prolonged survival; increased uptake of FDG did not predict survival. Eight of 10 with intensive radiotherapy had decreased label uptake. We conclude FDG-PET for evaluation of patients with possible recurrent tumors requires more study. In patients with intensive radiotherapy, FDG-PET results cannot be correlated accurately with tumor progression.