Purpose: To determine whether the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) can distinguish tumor-infiltrated edema in gliomas from pure edema in meningiomas and metastases.
Material and methods: Thirty patients were studied: 18 WHO grade III or IV gliomas, 7 meningiomas, and 5 metastatic lesions. ADC and FA were determined from ROIs placed in peritumoral areas with T2-signal changes, adjacent normal appearing white matter (NAWM), and corresponding areas in the contralateral healthy brain. Values and lesion-to-brain ratios from gliomas were compared to those from meningiomas and metastases.
Results: Values and lesion-to-brain ratios of ADC and FA in peritumoral areas with T2-signal changes did not differ between gliomas, meningiomas, and metastases (P = 0.40, P = 0.40, P = 0.61, P = 0.34). Values of ADC and FA and the lesion-to-brain ratio of FA in the adjacent NAWM did not differ between tumor types (P = 0.74, P = 0.25, and P = 0.31). The lesion-to-brain ratio of ADC in the adjacent NAWM was higher in gliomas than in meningiomas and metastases (P = 0.004), but overlapped between tumor types.
Conclusion: Values and lesion-to-brain ratios of ADC and FA in areas with T2-signal changes surrounding intracranial tumors and adjacent NAWM were not helpful for distinguishing pure edema from tumor-infiltrated edema when data from gliomas, meningiomas, and metastases were compared.