Use of permeability surface area-product to differentiate intracranial tumours from abscess

Biomed Imaging Interv J. 2009 Jan;5(1):e6. doi: 10.2349/biij.5.1.e6. Epub 2009 Jan 1.


Background and purpose: Clinical and radiological findings of intracranial abscesses may mimic the findings of brain tumours and vice versa. However, the discrimination is of great clinical importance in planning treatment and in following prognosis and response to therapy. This study evaluates the Computed Tomography (CT) perfusion parameters, especially the permeability index, with the aim of evaluating the usefulness of dynamic CT perfusion imaging as an alternative tool to differentiate necrotic brain tumours and intracerebral abscesses.

Materials and methods: A total of 21 patients underwent perfusion CT study and were divided into 2 groups: Group 1, patients with necrotic brain tumours (n=13); and Group 2, patients with cerebral abscesses (n=8). The mean perfusion parameters were obtained from the enhancing part of the lesion. The relative ratios were then calculated by using the results from mirrored regions within the contralateral hemisphere as reference.

Results: The results of this study showed that there was significant difference in the relative permeability surface values between necrotic brain tumours and cerebral abscesses (p=0.005). By applying the ROC curve, a value of 25.1 for rPS was found to be the best estimate to distinguish necrotic brain tumours from cerebral abscesses with a specificity of 88 % and sensitivity of 70 %.

Conclusion: CT perfusion, especially permeability surface, may allow for better differentiation of cerebral abscesses from brain tumours, making it a strong additional imaging modality in the early diagnosis of these two entities.

Keywords: CT perfusion; brain abscess; necrotic tumours; permeability surface area-product.