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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 241-248

Comparison of hybrid 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography/computed tomography for evaluation of peripheral nerve sheath tumors in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1


1 Department of Radiology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA
2 Department of Pediatrics and Neurology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, USA

Correspondence Address:
Roy A Raad
Department of Radiology, NYU School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016
USA
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DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_71_17

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Rapidly enlarging, painful plexiform neurofibromas (PN) in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients are at higher risk for harboring a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST). Fludeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) has been used to support more invasive diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. However, PET/CT imparts an untoward radiation hazard to this population with tumor suppressor gene impairment. The use of FDG PET coupled with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) rather than CT is a safer alternative but its relative diagnostic sensitivity requires verification. Ten patients (6 females, 4 males, mean age 27 years, range 8–54) with NF1 and progressive PN were accrued from our institutional NF Clinic. Indications for PET scanning included increasing pain and/or progressive disability associated with an enlarging PN on serial MRIs. Following a clinically indicated whole-body FDG PET/CT, a contemporaneous PET/MRI was obtained using residual FDG activity with an average time interval of 3–4 h FDG-avid lesions were assessed for both maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) from PET/CT and SUVmax from PET/MR and correlation was made between the two parameters. 26 FDG avid lesions were detected on both PET/CT and PET/MR with an accuracy of 100%. SUVmax values ranged from 1.4–10.8 for PET/CT and from 0.2-5.9 for PET/MRI. SUVmax values from both modalities demonstrated positive correlation (r = 0.45, P < 0.001). PET/MRI radiation dose was significantly lower (53.35% ± 14.37% [P = 0.006]). In conclusion, PET/MRI is a feasible alternative to PET/CT in patients with NF1 when screening for the potential occurrence of MPNST. Reduction in radiation exposure approaches 50% compared to PET/CT.


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