Exploratory Evaluation of MR Permeability with 18F-FDG PET Mapping in Pediatric Brain Tumors: A Report from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium
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UNLABELLED: The purpose of this study was to develop a method of registering (18)F-FDG PET with MR permeability images for investigating the correlation of (18)F-FDG uptake, permeability, and cerebral blood volume (CBV) in children with pediatric brain tumors and their relationship with outcome. METHODS: Twenty-four children with brain tumors in a phase II study of bevacizumab and irinotecan underwent brain MR and (18)F-FDG PET within 2 wk. Tumor types included supratentorial high-grade astrocytoma (n = 7), low-grade glioma (n = 9), brain stem glioma (n = 4), medulloblastoma (n = 2), and ependymoma (n = 2). There were 33 cases (pretreatment only [n = 12], posttreatment only [n = 3], and both pretreatment [n = 9] and posttreatment [n = 9]). (18)F-FDG PET images were registered to MR images from the last time point of the T1 perfusion time series using mutual information. Three-dimensional regions of interest (ROIs) drawn on permeability images were automatically transferred to registered PET images. The quality of ROI registration was graded (1, excellent; 2, very good; 3, good; 4, fair; and 5, poor) by 3 independent experts. Spearman rank correlations were used to assess correlation of maximum tumor permeability (Kps(max)), maximum CBV (CBV(max)), and maximum (18)F-FDG uptake normalized to white matter (T/W(max)). Cox proportional hazards models were used to investigate associations of these parameters with progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS: The quality of ROI registration between PET and MR was good to excellent in 31 of 33 cases. There was no correlation of baseline Kps(max) with CBV(max) (Spearman rank correlation = 0.018 [P = 0.94]) or T/W(max) (Spearman rank correlation = 0.07 [P = 0.76]). Baseline CBV(max) was correlated with T/W(max) (Spearman rank correlation = 0.47 [P = 0.036]). Baseline Kps(max), CBV(max), and T/W(max) were not significantly associated with PFS (P = 0.42, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.97, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.90-1.045, and number of events [n(events)] = 15 for Kps(max); P = 0.41, HR = 0.989, 95% CI = 0.963-1.015, and n(events) = 14 for CBV(max); and P = 0.17, HR = 1.49, 95% CI = 0.856-2.378, and n(events) = 15 for T/W(max)). CONCLUSION: (18)F-FDG PET and MR permeability images were successfully registered and compared across a spectrum of pediatric brain tumors. The lack of correlation between metabolism and permeability may be expected because these parameters characterize different molecular processes. The correlation of CBV and tumor metabolism may be related to an association with tumor grade. More patients are needed for a covariate analysis of these parameters and PFS by tumor histology.
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