Amino Acid PET Imaging of Glioma

  • Ephraim E. ParentEmail author
  • Akash Sharma
  • Manoj Jain
Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT Imaging (R Flavell, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Nuclear Medicine & PET/CT Imaging


Purpose of Review

Gliomas are among the most lethal malignancies in the world with dismal outcomes for high-grade tumors. These lesions are difficult to completely characterize with conventional magnetic resonance imaging and amino acid positron emission tomography is a rapidly progressing area of research with widespread clinical use.

Recent Findings

Amino acid positron emission tomography allows for more accurate glioma characterization compared to traditional imaging techniques including grading of disease, delineation of tumor spread, identification of recurrent disease, and prognosis. While the summarized radiotracers share some diagnostic properties, each also has its own weaknesses and strengths.


This article summarizes recent developments and clinical applications of the most widely used amino acid radiotracers. While none of these agents are FDA approved in the United States, they are considered standard of care in Europe and other parts of the world with > 10,000 studies being performed in some centers (Langen et al. in J Neurooncol 120(3):665–666, 2014).


Amino acid PET Glioma 



Amino acid


High-grade glioma


Low-grade glioma


Tumor-to-background ratio


Metabolic tumor volume






3,4-Dihydroxy-6-[18F] fluoro-l-phenylalanine


Anti-1-amino-3- [18F]-fluorocyclobutane-1-carboxylic acid




Progression-free survival


Overall survival


Compliance with Ethical Guidelines

Conflict of interest

Ephraim E. Parent, Akash Sharma, and Manoj Jain each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyMayo ClinicJacksonvilleUSA

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