Effect of various blood glucose levels on regional FDG uptake in the brain

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, Kuwait University, Kuwait

2 Department of Community Medicine and Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Kuwait

3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey



Objective(s): Studies have mainly assessed the effect of hyperglycemia on18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) uptake in the brain. In this study, we assessed the FDG uptake of the brain not only in normo- and hyperglycemia but also in hypoglycemia to compare the effect of various blood glucose levels on regional FDG uptake in the brain.
Methods: This retrospective study was conducted on whole-body FDG positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) images including the brain. The inclusion criteria included adult patients with no known history of diseases or symptoms affecting the brain, lack of abnormal brain findings on both PET and CT images, no image artifacts, and lack of any factors affecting brain FDG uptake. Maximum standardized uptake values (SUVmax) were measured in the lateral and medial frontal, temporal, parietal, and occipital cortices, lateral cerebellar cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, caudate nucleus, putamen, thalamus, brain stem (BS), and scalp in patients with normal (91-100 mg/dl), low (61-70 mg/dl), and high (171-200 mg/dl) blood glucose (BG) levels. Mean SUVmax of the brain regions for each BG range was calculated and statistically analyzed.
Results: In all BG levels, FDG uptake was at the highest level in the lateral frontal cortex and lowest level in the medial temporal cortex (MTC) and BS. The SUVmax in all assessed brain regions was significantly lower in hyperglycemia (P<0.001). However, this value was not significantly different in hypoglycemia (P>0.05) as compared to that in normoglycemia. At the BG range of 171-200 mg/dl, hyperglycemia-induced reduction in regional SUVmax had a range of 55.9-63.7% (60%±2.4%). This reduction was below 60% in the MTC, cerebellum, and BS and above 60% in other regions. Scalp activity was lower in hyperglycemia (P<0.001) and not different in hypoglycemia (P>0.05) as compared to normoglycemia.
Conclusion: The FDG uptake appears to be at the highest level in the lateral frontal cortex and the lowest level in the MTC and BS in normo-, hypo-, and hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia-induced reduction in FDG uptake was approximately the same as that in various regions of the brain. However, the MTC, cerebellum, and BS may be slightly less affected than the other regions. Hypoglycemia does not seem to have a significant effect on FDG uptake in the brain.


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