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Schoen, S.; Cabello, J.; Liesche-Starnecker, F.; Molina-Romero, M.; Eichinger, P.; Metz, M.; Karimov, I; Preibisch, C.; Keupp, J.; Hock, A.; Meyer, B.; Weber, W.; Zimmer, C.; Pyka, T.; Yakushev, I; Gempt, J.; Wiestler, B. (2020): Imaging glioma biology: spatial comparison of amino acid PET, amide proton transfer, and perfusion-weighted MRI in newly diagnosed gliomas. In: European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Vol. 47, No. 6: pp. 1468-1475
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Purpose: Imaging glioma biology holds great promise to unravel the complex nature of these tumors. Besides well-established imaging techniques such O-(2-[18F]fluoroethyl)-l-tyrosine (FET)-PET and dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) perfusion imaging, amide proton transfer-weighted (APTw) imaging has emerged as a promising novel MR technique. In this study, we aimed to better understand the relation between these imaging biomarkers and how well they capture cellularity and vascularity in newly diagnosed gliomas. Methods Preoperative MRI and FET-PET data of 46 patients (31 glioblastoma and 15 lower-grade glioma) were segmented into contrast-enhancing and FLAIR-hyperintense areas. Using established cutoffs, we calculated hot-spot volumes (HSV) and their spatial overlap. We further investigated APTw and CBV values in FET-HSV. In a subset of 10 glioblastoma patients, we compared cellularity and vascularization in 34 stereotactically targeted biopsies with imaging. Results: In glioblastomas, the largest HSV was found for APTw, followed by PET and CBV (p < 0.05). In lower-grade gliomas, APTw-HSV was clearly lower than in glioblastomas. The spatial overlap of HSV was highest between APTw and FET in both tumor entities and regions. APTw correlated significantly with cellularity, similar to FET, while the association with vascularity was more pronounced in CBV and FET. Conclusions: We found a relevant spatial overlap in glioblastomas between hotspots of APTw and FET both in contrast-enhancing and FLAIR-hyperintense tumor. As suggested by earlier studies, APTw was lower in lower-grade gliomas compared with glioblastomas. APTw meaningfully contributes to biological imaging of gliomas.