High amino acid uptake in a low-grade desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma in a 14-year-old patient

Neurosurg Rev. 1998;21(1):31-5. doi: 10.1007/BF01111482.


Amino acid uptake is higher in high-grade than in low-grade gliomas; this is the rationale for using radioactively labelled amino acids for the non-invasive grading of brain neoplasms. We present a 14-year-old boy with a low-grade desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma (DIG) that exhibited marked contrast enhancement on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but no signs of infiltration and only minimal surrounding edema. In this benign neoplasm the relative uptake of the radioactively labelled amino acid I-123-alpha-methyl tyrosine (IMT), determined using single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), was 3.24; it was considerably higher than that of eleven other pretherapeutic low-grade gliomas where it ranged from 1.06 to 1.94 and also markedly above that average value of 2.37 found in 20 high-grade gliomas. This case report illustrates that results from emission tomography with radioactively labelled amino acids must be interpreted with caution, particularly when rare tumor entities are considered in view of uncommon clinical or radiological findings.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ganglioglioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Ganglioglioma / metabolism*
  • Ganglioglioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon
  • alpha-Methyltyrosine / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • alpha-Methyltyrosine