Objective: Differentiation of grade 3 astrocytoma from glioblastoma multiforme can be difficult with conventional structural imaging but is important for prognosis. The purpose of this study was to assess perfusion CT in differentiating high-grade gliomas (HGGs) and their role in prognosis in the care of patients with HGG.
Subjects and methods: Twenty patients with previously untreated HGG underwent prospective evaluation with perfusion CT. Permeability surface area product (PS) and cerebral blood volume (CBV) were calculated by the deconvolution method and were compared between HGGs with Student two-sample t tests. Receiver operating characteristic curves were generated for PS, CBV, and the conjoint factor PS + CBV. Cox regression analysis was used to correlate these parameters with patient survival over a follow-up period. Hazard ratios were calculated, and Kaplan-Meier survival curves were drawn.
Results: There was a significant difference between grade 3 and grade 4 gliomas for PS (p = 0.022) and PS + CBV (p = 0.019) but not for CBV alone (p = 0.411). Receiver operating characteristic analyses showed that PS (area under the curve [AUC], 0.72) and CBV + PS (AUC, 0.73) can be used to differentiate grade 3 from grade 4 gliomas but that CBV alone cannot be so used (AUC, 0.54). There was a significant relation between patient outcome and age (p = 0.034) and CBV + PS (p = 0.048). Patients with HGG and a CBV + PS greater than 9 had a poor outcome (hazard ratio, 6.00).
Conclusion: PS and CBV + PS can be used to differentiate grade 3 from grade 4 gliomas. The outcome of patients with HGG depends on age and CBV + PS.