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Neurochirurgie. 2013 Apr;59(2):89-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neuchi.2013.02.005. Epub 2013 Apr 23.

The importance of measuring the velocity of diameter expansion on MRI in upfront management of suspected WHO grade II glioma - case report.

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  • 1Centre for minimally invasive neurosurgery, Sydney, Australia. mandonnet@mac.com


A right insular lesion was incidentally discovered in a 48-year-old male. Morphological and metabolic radiological characteristics on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were in favor of a World Health Organization (WHO) grade II glioma. Despite being advised that surgery was appropriate, the patient elected for conservative management. A second MRI was performed 5 months after, and interpreted as unchanged. A third MRI 4 months later demonstrated a significant increase in tumor size and enhancement in a new distant tumor focus. The patient was referred to our center and underwent surgical resection. Histopathology revealed a grade III astrocytoma. A retrospective quantitative measurement of the radiological growth between the two first MRIs yielded a growth rate of 12 mm/year. This value, highly suggestive of a malignant glioma, should have triggered surgery at the time of the second MRI. We conclude that, whenever surgical treatment of a suspected WHO grade II gliomas is postponed, assessing tumor kinetics quantitatively is important to identify patients whose tumor is indeed a WHO grade III glioma. The tumor should be indeed followed by serial MRIs with quantitative measurement of tumor growth, not just "eyeball" qualitative examination. Immediate treatment is indicated in patients with radiological tumor expansion of greater than 8mm/year.

Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.

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