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J Neurooncol. 2013 May;112(3):413-20. doi: 10.1007/s11060-013-1070-1. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Morphologic MRI features, diffusion tensor imaging and radiation dosimetric analysis to differentiate pseudo-progression from early tumor progression.

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Division of Neuroradiology, Department of Radiology, Henry Ford Health System, 2799 West Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Pseudo-progression (PsP) refers to the paradoxical increase of contrast enhancement within 12 weeks of chemo-radiation therapy in gliomas attributable to treatment effects rather than early tumor progression (ETP). This study was performed to evaluate the utility of morphologic imaging features, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and radiation dosimetric analysis of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes in differentiating PsP from ETP. Serial MRI examinations of 163 patients treated for high-grade glioma were reviewed. 46 patients showed a recurrent or progressive enhancing lesion within 12 weeks of radiotherapy. We used an in-house modified scoring system based on 20 different morphologic features (modified VASARI features) to assess the MRI studies. DTI analyses were performed in 24 patients. MRI changes were defined as recurrent volume (Vrec) and registered with pretreatment computed tomography dataset, and the actual dose received by the Vrec during treatment was calculated using dose-volume histograms. Bidimensional product of T2-FLAIR signal abnormality and enhancing component was larger in the ETP group. DTI metrics revealed no significant difference between the two groups. There was no statistically significant difference in the location of Vrec between PsP and ETP groups. Morphologic MRI features and DTI have a limited role in differentiating between PsP and ETP. The larger sizes of the T2-FLAIR signal abnormality and the enhancing component of the lesion favor ETP. There was no correlation between the pattern of MRI changes and radiation dose distribution between PsP and ETP groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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