Original Research

Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging increases the overall diagnostic accuracy in brain tumours: Correlation with histopathology

Kasim Abul-Kasim, Majda Thurnher, Stefan Puchner, Pia Sundgren
South African Journal of Radiology | Vol 17, No 1 | a202 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajr.v17i1.202 | © 2013 Kasim Abul-Kasim, Majda Thurnher, Stefan Puchner, Pia Sundgren | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2013 | Published: 05 March 2013

About the author(s)

Kasim Abul-Kasim, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Division of Neuroradiology, Diagnostic Centre for Imaging and Functional Medicine, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden
Majda Thurnher, Department of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Stefan Puchner, Department of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Pia Sundgren, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Division of Neuroradiology, Centre for Medical Imaging and Physiology, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden


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Abstract

Background: The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the contribution of multimodal MRI techniques, specifically perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI), and/or MR spectroscopy (MRS), in increasing the diagnostic accuracy of MRI in brain tumours.

Methods: Forty-four patients with suspected brain tumours (27 (61%) patients male, mean age 58±17 (mean±SD) years) were included in this retrospective analysis. Patients were examined with conventional MR sequences, DWI, and with PWI and/or MRS. The concordance between the diagnoses obtained with multimodal MRI and with the conventional MR sequences, and the final diagnosis obtained by biopsy, was estimated. Fisher’s exact test and/or chi-square test was performed to estimate the added utility of multimodal MRI. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.

Results: With multimodal MRI, the diagnosis in 41 (93%) patients was the same as that obtained by biopsy, compared with 39% (17/44) patients when the readers were allowed to give one diagnostic possibility during the evaluation of the conventional MR sequences alone (p<0.001). The concordance between the diagnoses provided by evaluating the multimodal MRIs and the final diagnoses was almost perfect (κ value 0.92, 95% CI 0.82 - 1). PWI primarily helped to differentiate lymphomas from other solid tumours, whereas MRS helped to differentiate malignant glioma from metastasis. Both PWI and MRS helped in grading astrocytomas.

Conclusion: Multimodal MRI increases diagnostic accuracy and should, wherever available, be performed in the work-up of brain tumours, although this entails increased examination cost and time.


Keywords

Conventional MR sequences, brain tumors, perfusion-weighted imaging, cerebral blood volume, MR spectroscopy.

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