Relationships between choline magnetic resonance spectroscopy, apparent diffusion coefficient and quantitative histopathology in human glioma

J Neurooncol. 2000 Dec;50(3):215-26. doi: 10.1023/a:1006431120031.


This study sought to correlate quantitative presurgical proton magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (1H-MRSI) and diffusion imaging (DI) results with quantitative histopathological features of resected glioma tissue. The primary hypotheses were (1) glioma choline signal correlates with cell density, (2) glioma apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) correlates inversely with cell density, (3) glioma choline signal correlates with cell proliferative index. Eighteen adult glioma patients were preoperatively imaged with 1H-MRSI and DI as part of clinically-indicated MRI evaluations. Cell density and proliferative index readings were made on surgical specimens obtained at surgery performed within 12 days of the radiologic scans. The resected tissue location was identified by comparing preoperative and postoperative MRI. The tumor to contralateral normalized choline signal ratio (nCho) and the ADC from resected tumor regions were measured from the preoperative imaging data. Counts of nuclei per high power field in 5-10 fields provided a quantitative measure of cell density. MIB-1 immunohistochemistry provided an index of the proportion of proliferating cells. There was a statistically significant inverse linear correlation between glioma ADC and cell density. There was also a statistically significant linear correlation between the glioma nCho and the cell density. The nCho measure did not significantly correlate with proliferative index. The results indicate that both ADC and spectroscopic choline measures are related to glioma cell density. Therefore they may prove useful for differentiating dense cellular neoplastic lesions from those that contain large proportions of acellular necrotic space.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Astrocytoma / diagnosis
  • Astrocytoma / metabolism*
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Choline / metabolism*
  • Diffusion
  • Echo-Planar Imaging
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligodendroglioma / diagnosis
  • Oligodendroglioma / metabolism*
  • Protons


  • Protons
  • Choline