Longitudinal evaluation of tumor microenvironment in rat focal brainstem glioma using diffusion and perfusion MRI

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Journal of magnetic resonance imaging : JMRI


BACKGROUND: Brainstem gliomas are aggressive and difficult to treat. Growth of these tumors may be characterized with MRI methods.

PURPOSE: To visualize longitudinal changes in tumor volume, vascular leakiness, and tissue microstructure in an animal model of brainstem glioma.

STUDY TYPE: Prospective animal model.

ANIMAL MODEL: Male Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 9) were imaged with 9L gliosarcoma cells infused into the pontine reticular formation of the brainstem. The MRI tumor microenvironment was studied at 3 and 10 days postimplantation of tumor cells.

FIELD STRENGTH/SEQUENCE: Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE)-MRI were performed at 4.7T using spin-echo multislice echo planar imaging and gradient echo multislice imaging, respectively.

ASSESSMENT: Tumor leakiness was assessed by the forward volumetric transfer constant, K

STATISTICAL TESTS: Changes in the assessed parameters within and across the groups (ie, rats 3 and 10 days post tumor cell implantation) were evaluated with Wilcoxon rank-sum tests.

RESULTS: Day 3 tumors were visible mainly on contrast-enhanced images, while day 10 tumors were visible in both contrast-enhanced and diffusion-weighted images. Mean K

DATA CONCLUSION: Contrast-enhanced MRI was found to be more sensitive in detecting early-stage tumor boundaries than other contrasts. Areas of the tumor outlined by DCE-MRI and DTI were significantly different. Over the observed period of tumor growth, average vessel leakiness decreased with tumor progression.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2 Technical Efficacy: Stage 3 J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;49:1322-1332.

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