A prospective evaluation of thallium-201 single photon emission computerized tomography for brain tumor burden

Mordechai Lorberboym*, Jacob Baram, Meir Feibel, Aleck Hercbergs, Lionel Lieberman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The follow-up of patients with malignant brain tumors after surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy has been inadequate for evaluating brain tumor burden using computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Thallium-201 has been shown to concentrate in viable tumor, and TI-201 single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) imaging can identify tumor burden more accurately than CT. Methods and Materials: Thirty-one patients with glioblastoma and three patients with low grade astrocytoma were studied with TI-201 SPECT. Histologic diagnosis was obtained in all patients by biopsy and all patients had CT scans within 2 weeks of the SPECT study. Seventeen patients were followed with one or more SPECT and CT evaluations. Results: Single photon emission computerized tomography studies, after surgery, radiotherapy, and/or chemotherapy, were more accurate than CT in identifying progression or regression of disease. Twenty-three patients had evidence of disease and 11 patients had no evidence of recurrent disease in the initial TI-201 SPECT study following therapy. Computerized tomography identified 20 of the 23 patients with disease and 6 of 11 patients with no recurrent disease. Follow-up with TI-201 SPECT in 17 patients suggested progression of disease in 9 patients, while CT showed progression in only 3 patients. Clinical examinations and repeat CT studies confirmed the accuracy of TI-201 SPECT images. Conclusion: We found TI-201 SPECT more accurate than CT scans in a prospective evaluation of 34 patients with brain tumor. Follow-up studies with both TI-201 SPECT and CT imaging in 17 patients demonstrated that sPECT was more reliable than CT in identifying progression, improvement, or no change in brain tumor burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 30 Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrocytoma
  • Brain neoplasms
  • CT
  • Glioblastoma
  • Radionuclide diagnosis
  • Thallium-201 SPECT


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