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Imaging Predicts Malignant Transformation of Gliomas

Observed up to a year in advance by magnetic resonance perfusion imaging

FRIDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- The malignant transformation of low-grade gliomas can be observed as far as a year in advance by assessing relative cerebral blood volume using magnetic resonance perfusion imaging, according to research published in the April issue of Radiology.

Nasuda Danchaivijitr, M.D., from University College London in the United Kingdom, and colleagues performed magnetic resonance perfusion imaging in 13 patients with low-grade glioma treated only with anti-epileptic drugs, at six-month intervals or until diagnosis of malignant transformation.

The researchers found that seven patients progressed to high-grade tumors after a mean of 22.3 months while six patients remained stable after a mean of 23 months. The mean relative cerebral blood volume was slightly, but not significantly, higher at baseline in transformers than stable patients. There was a significant and continuous increase in relative cerebral blood volume in transformers as much as 12 months before transformation, when contrast enhancement became apparent. In contrast, the mean relative cerebral blood volume was relatively stable in stable patients.

"In transforming low-grade glioma, susceptibility-weighted magnetic resonance perfusion imaging can demonstrate significant increases in relative cerebral blood volume up to 12 months before contrast enhancement is apparent on T1-weighted MRI," Danchaivijitr and colleagues conclude.

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