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Vol. 82, No. 2-3, 2004
Issue release date: August 2004
Stereotact Funct Neurosurg 2004;82:70–76

Thallium SPECT-Based Stereotactic Targeting for Brain Tumor Biopsies

A Technical Note

Hemm S. · Hemm S. · Vayssiere N. · Vayssiere N. · Zanca M. · Zanca M. · Ravel P. · Ravel P. · Coubes P. · Coubes P.
aDepartment of Neurosurgery (Research Group on Movement Disorders), University Hospital, bNuclear Medicine, University Hospital, and cLaboratory of Industrial Physics and Information Processing, University of Montpellier I, Montpellier, France

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MR or CT images acquired under stereotactic conditions are often used to plan and guide brain tumor biopsies. The objective of this study was to design and test a methodology to increase target selection reliability by acquiring stereotactic 201Tl-SPECT data and by integrating them into the surgical planning. The three-headed Philips gamma camera system (Prism 3000) was adapted to stereotactic acquisitions (patient pallet, headholder). A software was developed for the stereotactic target determination based on SPECT images (pixel with the highest metabolic activity inside the tumor). The whole system accuracy was tested with the Elekta phantom adapted to SPECT imaging. The methodology was applied to one brain tumor biopsy. Comparison of the specific phantom coordinates evaluated in SPECT with the theoretical ones did not reveal any significant difference. In this way, our methodology including our homemade software (identification of the stereotactic frame, determination of the pixel with highest metabolic activity within the tumor in the stereotactic coordinate system) was validated. No significant geometric deformations were detected. Clinical feasibility was confirmed in 1 patient with a brain glioma. This study illustrates the feasibility and the accuracy of SPECT acquisitions with the stereotactic Leksell G-frame. The clinical relevance of this methodology is under evaluation. This definition of the target, based on the point with the highest metabolic activity within the tumor, might lead to improved diagnosis in biopsies and patient management. Furthermore, it might prepare the future for therapy aimed at delivering a therapeutic agent within a tumor.

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