Longitudinal DSC-MRI for Distinguishing Tumor Recurrence From Pseudoprogression in Patients With a High-grade Glioma

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For patients with high-grade glioma on clinical trials it is important to accurately assess time of disease progression. However, differentiation between pseudoprogression (PsP) and progressive disease (PD) is unreliable with standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. Dynamic susceptibility contrast perfusion MRI (DSC-MRI) can measure relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) and may help distinguish PsP from PD.


A subset of patients with high-grade glioma on a phase II clinical trial with temozolomide, paclitaxel poliglumex, and concurrent radiation were assessed. Nine patients (3 grade III, 6 grade IV), with a total of 19 enhancing lesions demonstrating progressive enhancement (≥25% increase from nadir) on postchemoradiation conventional contrast-enhanced MRI, had serial DSC-MRI. Mean leakage-corrected rCBV within enhancing lesions was computed for all postchemoradiation time points.


Of the 19 progressively enhancing lesions, 10 were classified as PsP and 9 as PD by biopsy/surgery or serial enhancement patterns during interval follow-up MRI. Mean rCBV at initial progressive enhancement did not differ significantly between PsP and PD (2.35 vs. 2.17; P=0.67). However, change in rCBV at first subsequent follow-up (−0.84 vs. 0.84; P=0.001) and the overall linear trend in rCBV after initial progressive enhancement (negative vs. positive slope; P=0.04) differed significantly between PsP and PD.


Longitudinal trends in rCBV may be more useful than absolute rCBV in distinguishing PsP from PD in chemoradiation-treated high-grade gliomas with DSC-MRI. Further studies of DSC-MRI in high-grade glioma as a potential technique for distinguishing PsP from PD are indicated.

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