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Keywords:

  • nasopharyngeal carcinoma;
  • radiotherapy;
  • NAWM;
  • nuclear MR spectroscopy;
  • diffusion-tensor imaging

Abstract

Purpose:

To detect radiation-induced changes of temporal lobe normal-appearing white mater (NAWM) following radiation therapy (RT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Materials and Methods:

Seventy-five H1-MR spectroscopy and diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI) examinations were performed in 55 patients before and after receiving fractionated radiation therapy (total dose; 66–75GY). We divided the dataset into six groups, a pre-RT control group and five other groups based on time after completion of RT. N-acetylaspartic acid (NAA)/choline (Cho), NAA/creatine (Cr), Cho/Cr, mean diffusibility (MD), functional anisotropy (FA), radial diffusibility (λ), and axial diffusibility (λ||) were calculated.

Results:

NAA/Cho and NAA/Cr decreased and λ increased significantly within 1 year after RT compared with pre-RT. After 1 year, NAA/Cho, NAA/Cr, and λ were not significantly different from pre-RT. In all post-RT groups, FA decreased significantly. λ|| decreased within 9 months after RT compared with pre-RT, but was not significantly different from pre-RT more than 9 months after RT.

Conclusion:

DTI and H1-MR spectroscopy can be used to detect early radiation-induced changes of temporal lobe NAWM following radiation therapy for NPC. Metabolic alterations and water diffusion characteristics of temporal lobe NAWM in patients with NPC after RT were dynamic and transient. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013;37:101–108. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.