Advances in neuroimaging have modified diagnosis, treatment and clinical management of brain tumors. However, neuropathological study remains necessary in order to get the best clinical management.
Surgery and radiotherapy planning are imaging-dependent procedures, and MRI is the standard imaging modality for determining precisely tumor location and its anatomical relationship with surrounding brain structures. In high-grade tumors it has been accepted that tumoral areas with contrast uptake in CT, or T1-weighted MRI contrast enhancement corresponds to solid tumor. However, relationship between MRI and invasive tumor areas remains less defined.
Therefore, it is generally accepted that conventional MRI is not sufficient to delineate the real extension of brain tumors. In recent years, PET using 18FDG and amino acid radiotracers ((11)C-Methionine, (18)FDOPA, (18)FET) and SPECT with (201-)Thallium, as well as advanced MRI sequences (Perfusion, Diffusion-weighted, Diffusion tensor imaging and tractography), and functional MRI, have added important complementary information in the characterization, therapy planning and recurrence differential diagnosis of brain tumors. In this continuing education review of neuroimaging in brain tumors, technical aspects and clinical applications of different imaging modalities are approached in a multidisciplinary way.
CITATION Rev Esp Med Nucl. 2011 January - February;30(1):47-65