Background: Preoperative differentiation of primary central nervous system lymphomas (PCNSLs) from other tumors is important for presurgical staging, intraoperative management, and postoperative treatment. Dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced perfusion magnetic resonance imaging (DSC perfusion MRI) can provide in vivo assessment of the microvasculature in intracranial mass lesions.
Purpose: To determine the utility of DSC perfusion MRI in the differentiation of PCNSLs and high-grade gliomas, as well as their pathological and physiological differences.
Material and methods: Nine patients with pathologically proven PCNSLs and 11 patients with high-grade gliomas were examined using a 1.5 T MRI scanner. DSC perfusion MRI was performed by gradient-echo echo-planar imaging (GE-EPI). The maximum rCBV ratio, the signal intensity-time curves, and the percentage of signal intensity recovery were obtained. The maximum relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) ratio and the percentage of signal intensity recovery of PCNSLs were compared with those of high-grade gliomas by using Student's t test. Microvessel density (MVD) was evaluated using immunohistochemical staining of surgical specimens with anti-CD34, and MVDs of the two tumor groups were compared by using Student's t test.
Results: The maximum rCBV ratio of primary intracranial lymphomas was 1.72+/-0.59, while that of high-grade gliomas was 4.86+/-2.18. PCNSLs tended to have relatively low perfusion compared to high-grade gliomas (P=0.001), and the MVD labeled by anti-CD34 of PCNSLs was much lower than that of gliomas (P<0.001). The signal intensity-time curve of primary intracranial lymphomas was different from that of high-grade gliomas. The percentage of signal intensity recovery was significantly greater in PCNSLs compared with that of high-grade gliomas (P<0.001).
Conclusion: The difference in DSC perfusion MRI characteristics between PCNSLs and high-grade gliomas is determined by their different vascularities and different patterns of contrast agent leakage. This difference may be helpful in the diagnosis and preoperative differentiation between PCNSLs and high-grade gliomas, which sometimes may have similar conventional MR imaging appearance.