We monitored a physiological response in a neutron-exposed normal mouse brain using two imaging tools, [18F]fluro-deoxy-D-glucose positron emission tomography ([18F]FDG-PET) and diffusion weighted-magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI), as an imaging biomarker. We measured the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of DW-MRI and standardized uptake value (SUV) of [18F]FDG-PET, which indicated changes in the cellular environment for neutron irradiation. This approach was sensitive enough to detect cell changes that were not confirmed in hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) results. Glucose transporters (GLUT) 1 and 3, indicators of the GLUT capacity of the brain, were significantly decreased after neutron irradiation, demonstrating that the change in blood-brain-barrier (BBB) permeability affects the GLUT, with changes in both SUV and ADC values. These results demonstrate that combined imaging of the same object can be used as a quantitative indicator for in vivo pathological changes. In particular, the radiation exposure assessment of combined imaging, with specific integrated functions of [18F]FDG-PET and MRI, can be employed repeatedly for noninvasive analysis performed in clinical practice. Additionally, this study demonstrated a novel approach to assess the extent of damage to normal tissues as well as therapeutic effects on tumors.
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Vol. 193 • No. 1