Background: Dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC)-MRI is a well-established perfusion MR imaging technique for estimating relative cerebral blood volume (CBV) in primary brain tumors; however, tumors localized to regions with naturally elevated perfusion, including cortical tissue and common vascular territories, make evaluation of tumor vascularity difficult to assess. In the current study, we have constructed a large-scale radiographic atlas of CBV to assess treatment response to bevacizumab in individual patients with recurrent glioblastoma.
Methods: Z-score normalized CBV maps were registered to stereotactic atlas space in 450 patients with brain tumors. A CBV atlas was created by calculating the voxel-wise mean and variability in CBV. MRI and CBV maps from 32 recurrent glioblastoma patients were then obtained prior to and following treatment with bevacizumab, registered to and compared with the CBV atlas. The volume of tumor tissue with elevated CBV, percentage of enhancing tumor with elevated CBV, and the mean and maximum change in normalized CBV intensity relative to the atlas were computed.
Results: Voxel-wise comparison of individual patient CBV maps to the atlas allowed delineation of elevated tumor perfusion from artery and normal cortical tissue. An atlas-defined hypervascular tumor blood volume greater than 2.35 cc prior to treatment, 0.14 cc after treatment, and a decrease in atlas-defined hypervascular tumor volume less than 80% following treatment were characteristic of a shorter PFS and OS. Traditional measures of CBV were not predictive of PFS or OS.
Conclusions: This study highlights the advantages of large-scale population maps to identify abnormal biological tissues.