Analysis of diffusion tensor imaging metrics for gliomas grading at 3 T

Eur J Radiol. 2014 Mar;83(3):e156-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2013.12.023. Epub 2014 Jan 4.


Objectives: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity (RD), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) values derived from DTI for grading of glial tumors, and to estimate the correlation between DTI parameters and tumor grades.

Methods: Seventy-eight patients with glial tumors underwent DTI. AD, RD, ADC and FA values of tumor, peritumoral edema and contralateral normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) and AD, RD, ADC and FA ratios: lowest average AD, RD, ADC and FA values in tumor or peritumoral edema to AD, RD, ADC and FA of NAWM were calculated. DTI parameters and tumor grades were analyzed statistically and with Pearson correlation. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was also performed.

Results: The differences in ADC, AD and RD tumor values, and ADC and RD tumor ratios were statistically significant between grades II and III, grades II and IV, and between grades II and III-IV. The AD tumor ratio differed significantly among all tumor grades. Tumor ADC, AD, RD and glial tumor grades were strongly correlated. In the ROC curve analysis, the area under the curve (AUC) of the parameter tumor ADC was the largest for distinguishing grade II from grades III to IV (98.5%), grade II from grade IV (98.9%) and grade II from grade III (97.0%).

Conclusion: ADC, RD and AD are useful DTI parameters for differentiation between low- and high-grade gliomas with a diagnostic accuracy of more than 90%. Our study revealed a good inverse correlation between ADC, RD, AD and WHO grades II-IV astrocytic tumors.

Keywords: Apparent diffusion coefficient; Axial diffusivity; Brain tumor; Diffusion tensor imaging; Fractional anisotropy; Radial diffusivity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Diffusion Tensor Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Glioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity