Magnetic resonance fingerprinting (MRF) allows rapid, simultaneous mapping of T1 and T2 relaxation times and may be an important diagnostic tool to measure tissue characteristics in pediatric brain tumors.
de Blank et al. examined children and young adults with primary brain tumors to determine whether MRF can discriminate tumor from normal-appearing white matter and distinguish tumor grade.
MRF was performed in 23 patients (14 children and 9 young adults) with brain tumors (19 low-grade glioma, 4 high-grade tumors). T1 and T2 values were recorded in regions of solid tumor (ST), peritumoral white matter (PWM), and contralateral white matter (CWM). Nonparametric tests were used for comparison between groups and regions.
Median scan time for MRF and a sequence for tumor localization was 11 min. MRF-derived T1 and T2 values distinguished ST from CWM (T1: 1,444 ± 254 ms vs. 938 ± 96 ms, p = 0.0002; T2: 61 ± 22 ms vs. 38 ± 9 ms, p = 0.0003) and separated high-grade tumors from low-grade tumors (T1: 1,863 ± 70 ms vs. 1,355 ± 187 ms, p = 0.007; T2: 90 ± 13 ms vs. 56 ± 19 ms, p = 0.013). PWM was distinct from CWM (T1: 1,261 ± 359 ms vs. 933 ± 104 ms, p = 0.0008; T2: 65 ± 51 ms vs. 38 ± 8 ms, p = 0.008), as well as from tumor (T1: 1,261 ± 371 ms vs. 1,462 ± 248 ms, p = 0.047).
MRF is a fast sequence that can rapidly distinguish important tissue components in pediatric brain tumor patients. MRF-derived T1 and T2 distinguished tumor from normal-appearing white matter, differentiated tumor grade, and found abnormalities in peritumoral regions. MRF may be useful for rapid quantitative measurement of tissue characteristics and distinguish tumor grade in children and young adults with brain tumors 1).
MR fingerprinting acquisition was performed in 31 patients with untreated intra-axial brain tumors: 17 glioblastomas, 6 World Health Organization grade II lower grade gliomas, and 8 metastases. T1, T2 of the solid tumor, immediate peritumoral white matter, and contralateral white matter were summarized within each ROI. Statistical comparisons on mean, SD, skewness, and kurtosis were performed by using the univariate Wilcoxon rank sum test across various tumor types. Bonferroni correction was used to correct for multiple-comparison testing. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed for discrimination between glioblastomas and metastases, and area under the receiver operator curve was calculated.
Mean T2 values could differentiate solid tumor regions of lower grade gliomas from metastases (mean, 172 ± 53 ms, and 105 ± 27 ms, respectively; P = .004, significant after Bonferroni correction). The mean T1 of peritumoral white matter surrounding lower grade gliomas differed from peritumoral white matter around glioblastomas (mean, 1066 ± 218 ms, and 1578 ± 331 ms, respectively; P = .004, significant after Bonferroni correction). Logistic regression analysis revealed that the mean T2 of solid tumor offered the best separation between glioblastomas and metastases with an area under the curve of 0.86 (95% CI, 0.69-1.00; P < .0001).
MR fingerprinting allows rapid simultaneous T1 and T2 measurement in brain tumors and surrounding tissues. MR fingerprinting-based relaxometry can identify quantitative differences between solid tumor regions of lower grade gliomas and metastases and between peritumoral regions of glioblastomas and lower grade gliomas 2).