Benign astrocytoma, PET scan

Benign astrocytoma, PET scan

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Caption: Astrocytoma brain tumour. Coloured positron emission tomography (PET) scan of an axial section through the brain of a 17 year old girl, showing a tumour (blue, at right). Astrocytomas are primary intracranial tumours derived from brain cells (astrocytes). This tumour is a pilocytic astrocytoma, which is a grade 1 astrocytoma, meaning that it is benign. PET scans use gamma cameras to detect radioactive tracers that have been injected into the blood, and which accumulate in areas of high metabolic activity. The colour of this tumour indicates that it is not metabolising excess glucose and is therefore benign. PET scans allow doctors to tell if a tumour is malignant without resorting to surgical biopsy.

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