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Functional imaging in adult and paediatric brain tumours

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-11
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Clinical Oncology
Volume9
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Abstract

Imaging is a key component in the management of brain tumours, with MRI being the preferred modality for most clinical scenarios. However, although conventional MRI provides mainly structural information, such as tumour size and location, it leaves many important clinical questions, such as tumour type, aggressiveness and prognosis, unanswered. An increasing number of studies have shown that additional information can be obtained using functional imaging methods (which probe tissue properties), and that these techniques can give key information of clinical importance. These techniques include diffusion imaging, which can assess tissue structure, and perfusion imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy, which measures tissue metabolite profiles. Tumour metabolism can also be investigated using PET, with 18F-deoxyglucose being the most readily available tracer. This Review discusses these methods and the studies that have investigated their clinical use. A strong emphasis is placed on the measurement of quantitative parameters, which is a move away from the qualitative nature of conventional radiological reporting and presents major challenges, particularly for multicentre studies.

    Research areas

  • Adult, Brain Neoplasms, Child, Humans, Radionuclide Imaging, Radiopharmaceuticals, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review

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