Diagnostic accuracy of PET for recurrent glioma diagnosis: A meta-analysis

T. Nihashi, I. J. Dahabreh, Teruhiko Terasawa

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129 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Studies have assessed PET by using various tracers to diagnose disease recurrence in patients with previously treated glioma; however, the accuracy of these methods, particularly compared with alternative imaging modalities, remains unclear. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantitatively synthesize the diagnostic accuracy of PET and compare it with alternative imaging modalities. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched PubMed and Scopus (until June 2011), bibliographies, and review articles. Two reviewers extracted study characteristics, validity items, and quantitative data on diagnostic accuracy. We performed meta-analysis when ≥5 studies were available. RESULTS: Twenty-six studies were eligible. Studies were heterogeneous in treatment strategies and diagnostic criteria of PET; recurrence was typically suspected by CT or MR imaging. The diagnostic accuracies of 18F-FDG (n = 16) and 11C-MET PET (n = 7) were heterogeneous across studies. 18F-FDG PET had a summary sensitivity of 0.77 (95% CI, 0.66-0.85) and specificity of 0.78 (95% CI, 0.54-0.91) for any glioma histology; 11C-methionine PET had a summary sensitivity of 0.70 (95% CI, 0.50-0.84) and specificity of 0.93 (95% CI, 0.44-1.0) for high-grade glioma. These estimates were stable in subgroup and sensitivity analyses. Data were limited on 18F-FET (n = 4), 18F-FLT (n = 2), and 18F-boronophenylalanine (n = 1). Few studies performed direct comparisons between different PET tracers or between PET and other imaging modalities. CONCLUSIONS: 18F-FDG and 11C-MET PET appear to have moderately good accuracy as add-on tests for diagnosing recurrent glioma suspected by CT or MR imaging. Studies comparing alternative tracers or PET versus other imaging modalities are scarce. Prospective studies performing head-to-head comparisons between alternative imaging modalities are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)944-950
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 05-2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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