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Dual isotope single-photon emission computerized tomography used for prediction of histology and survival in patients after high-dose radiotherapy for malignant astrocytoma

Richard B. Schwartz, B. Leonard Holman, Basem M. Garada, Paulo A. Carvalho, Rebecca Folkerth, Marc S. Schwartz, Jay S. Loeffler, Dennis C. Shrieve, Joseph F. Polak, Peter McL. Black, and Eben Alexander III

This study was conducted to determine the sensitivity of dual-isotope single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) in predicting tumor recurrence and survival in patients treated with high-dose radiotherapy for malignant gliomas.

Studies using SPECT with thallium-201 (Tl-201) and technetium-99m (Tc-99m) hexamethypropyleneamine oxime (HMPAO) in 50 consecutive patients with malignant astrocytomas treated by surgery and high-dose radiotherapy were performed 1 day before reoperation. Maximum uptake of Tl-201 in the lesion was expressed as a ratio to that of the contralateral scalp, and uptake of Tc-99m HMPAO was expressed as a ratio to that of the cerebellar cortex. Patients were stratified into groups based on maximum radioisotope uptake values in their tumor beds. Differences in tumor histopathology at reoperation and 1-year survival between SPECT groups were determined by using chi-square analysis.

The majority of patients in Group IA (Tl-201 ratio less than 2 or Tc-99m HMPAO ratio less than 0.5) showed radiation changes in their biopsy specimens (85.7%); they had an 85.7% 1-year survival rate. Group II (Tl-201 ratio between 2 and 3.5) had predominantly infiltrating tumor (78.6%); they had a 42% 1-year survival rate. Almost all of the patients in Group III (Tl-201 ratio greater than 3.5) had solid tumor (93.3%) and they had a 6.7% 1-year survival. Survival and pathological data differed significantly among groups (p less than 0.009).

Dual-isotope SPECT data correlates with histological findings on reoperation and postoperative survival in patients with malignant gliomas.