Usefulness of diffusion-weighted MRI with echo-planar technique in the evaluation of cellularity in gliomas

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the utility of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with echo-planar imaging (EPI) technique in depicting the tumor cellularity and grading of gliomas. Twenty consecutive patients (13 men and 7 women, ranging in age from 13 to 69 years) with histologically proven gliomas were examined using a 1.5 T superconducting imager. Tumor cellularity, analyzed with National Institutes of Health Image 1.60 software on a Macintosh computer, was compared with the minimum apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and the signal intensity on the T2-weighted images. The relationship of the minimum ADC to the tumor grade was also evaluated. Tumor cellularity correlated well with the minimum ADC value of the gliomas (P = 0.007), but not with the signal intensity on the T2-weighted images. The minimum ADC of the high-grade gliomas was significantly higher than that of the low-grade gliomas. Diffusion-weighted MRI with EPI is a useful technique for assessing the tumor cellularity and grading of gliomas. This information is not obtained with conventional MRI and is useful for the diagnosis and characterization of gliomas. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 1999;9:53–60 © 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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