Acta Radiol. 2002 Sep;43(5):474-82.


Purpose: To study the pattern of contrast enhancement in MR and CT of oligodendrogliomas and to compare this with other imaging findings and with histopathological grading criteria.

Material and methods: 20 patients with oligodendrogliomas (12 low-grade WHO II and 8 anaplastic WHO III) were reviewed. 20 complete MR investigations, 20 non-enhanced CT studies and 16 CTs after contrast enhancement were estimated blindly without knowledge of the tumour histological grades.

Results: All anaplastic oligodendrogliomas showed tumour contrast enhancement on MR and CT images. Also in 6/12 low-grade oligodendrogliomas the contrast was enhanced on MR imaging. In 5 of these, tumour calcifications were detected by CT. The remaining 6/12 WHO grade II cases showed no significant MR contrast enhancement. Of the oligodendrogliomas grade II, CT showed contrast uptake in 3 cases and no enhancement in 6, while in 3 cases postcontrast CT was not available. A comparison of contrast enhancement with tumour grade resulted in a p-value of 0.042 for MR and of 0.011 for CT. A combined statistical test of tumour grade and calcifications detected by CT compared with MR contrast enhancement showed a significant correlation (p=0.014).

Conclusion: These data demonstrated that a clear grading of oligodendrogliomas based on the image criterion MR contrast enhancement was not possible. We suppose that, besides tumour neovascularisation, additional factors such as calcifications may disturb the blood-brain barrier.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligodendroglioma / diagnosis*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*