Value of quantitative apparent diffusion coefficients in differentiating low-grade gliomas from mixed neuronal-glial tumors

Amit Agarwal, Sangam Kanekar, Shyam Sabat, Girish Bathla

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Purpose: To retrospectively assess if diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) and quantitative apparent–diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps could be used to differentiate between low-grade gliomas (LGGs) and mixed neuronal–glial tumors (MNGTs including Dysembryoplastic Neuroepithelial Tumor and Ganglioglioma). Materials and methods: We retrospectively searched the clinical, pathological, and radiological databases for a span of 9 years and identified 24 patients with biopsy proven LGG. This included WHO (fourth edition) grade I and II tumors including astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma and oligodendrogliomas. We also identified 22 patients with MNGTs (WHO grade I) including 13 patients with DNET and 9 patients with Ganglioglioma. All patients with pathologically confirmed tumors who had MRI including DWI sequence were included in the study. Regions of interest (ROIs) of 0.1–0.15 cm2 were manually positioned on the ADC maps and multiple values (10−6 mm2/s) were obtained including the ADCmean. Optimal thresholds of ADC values and ADC ratios for distinguishing low-grade gliomas from mixed neuronal–glial tumors were determined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. Results: All the four ADC measurement variables, including the minimum (ADC min), the (ADC max) maximum, the mean of ADC values (ADC mean) and the ADC ratios (ADC mean/ADCnormal) showed significant difference between the MNGTs and LGGs. The most significant difference was seen with the maximum ADC value (ADC max) of the tumor where the values for LGGs were 1317 ± 314 whereas the values for MNGTs were 2134 ± 438. In both subsets of patients with MNGTs (DNET and Ganglioglioma), this difference was statistically significant (P =.015 and P =.0066, respectively). However, there was no significant difference between the ADC values of these subtypes of MNGTs. Conclusion: The ADC values of MNGTs are significantly higher compared to LGGs and can be helpful in radiological demarcation of these two conditions. The high ADC of MNGTs may be attributable to the presence of large extracellular spaces and their cellularity, which is much lower than that of pure glial neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100159
JournalWorld Neurosurgery: X
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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