To determine the potential value of multimodal MRI for the presurgical management of patients with brain tumors, we performed combined magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and proton MR spectroscopy (MRS) in 164 patients who presented with tumors of various histological subtypes confirmed by surgical biopsy. Univariate statistical analysis of metabolic ratios carried out on the first 121 patients demonstrated significant differences in between-group comparisons, but failed to provide sufficiently robust classification of individual cases. However, a multivariate statistical approach correctly classified the tumors using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) of combined MRI and MRS data. After initial separation of contrast-enhancing and non-contrast-enhancing lesions, 91% of the former and 87% of the latter were correctly classified. The results were stable when this diagnostic strategy was tested on the additional 43 patients included for validation after the initial statistical analysis, with over 90% of correct classification. Combined MRI and MRS had superior diagnostic value compared to MRS alone, especially in the contrast-enhancing group. This study shows the clinical value of a multivariate statistical analysis based on multimodal MRI and MRS for the noninvasive evaluation of intracranial tumors.
Copyright 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.