J Furtner, V Schöpf, K Schewzow, G Kasprian, M Weber, R Woitek, U Asenbaum, M Preusser, C Marosi, JA Hainfellner, G Widhalm, S Wolfsberger, D Prayer
AJNR Am J Neuroradiol
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Pulsed arterial spin-labeling is a noninvasive MR imaging perfusion method performed with the use of water in the arterial blood as an endogenous contrast agent. The purpose of this study was to determine the inversion time with the largest difference in normalized intratumoral signal intensity between high-grade and low-grade astrocytomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-three patients with gliomas, histologically classified as low-grade (n = 7) or high-grade astrocytomas (n = 26) according to the World Health Organization brain tumor classification, were included. A 3T MR scanner was used to perform pulsed arterial spin-labeling measurements at 8 different inversion times (370 ms, 614 ms, 864 ms, 1114 ms, 1364 ms, 1614 ms, 1864 ms, and 2114 ms). Normalized intratumoral signal intensity was calculated, which was defined by the signal intensity ratio of the tumor and the contralateral normal brain tissue for all fixed inversion times. A 3-way mixed ANOVA was used to reveal potential differences in the normalized vascular intratumoral signal intensity between high-grade and low-grade astrocytomas. RESULTS: The difference in normalized vascular intratumoral signal intensity between high-grade and low-grade astrocytomas obtained the most statistically significant results at 370 ms (P = .003, other P values ranged from .012-.955). CONCLUSIONS: The inversion time by which to differentiate high-grade and low-grade astrocytomas by use of normalized vascular intratumoral signal intensity was 370 ms in our study. The normalized vascular intratumoral signal intensity values at this inversion time mainly reflect the labeled intra-arterial blood bolus and therefore could be referred to as normalized vascular intratumoral signal intensity. Our data indicate that the use of normalized vascular intratumoral signal intensity values allows differentiation between low-grade and high-grade astrocytomas and thus may serve as a new, noninvasive marker for astrocytoma grading.