Diffusion MR Characteristics Following Concurrent Radiochemotherapy Predicts Progression-Free and Overall Survival in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Tomography. 2015 Sep;1(1):37-43. doi: 10.18383/j.tom.2015.00115.


The standard of care for newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM) is surgery, then radiotherapy (RT) with concurrent temozolomide (TMZ), followed by adjuvant TMZ. We hypothesized patients with low diffusivity measured using apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) histogram analysis evaluated after RT+TMZ, prior to adjuvant TMZ, would have a significantly shorter progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS). To test this hypothesis we evaluated 120 patients with newly diagnosed GBM receiving RT+TMZ followed by adjuvant TMZ. MRI was performed after completion of RT+TMZ, prior to initiation of adjuvant TMZ. A double Gaussian mixed model was used to describe the ADC histograms within the enhancing tumor, where ADCL and ADCH were defined as the mean ADC value of the lower and higher Gaussian distribution, respectively. An ADCL value of 1.0 um2/ms and ADCH value of 1.6 um2/ms were used to stratify patients into high and low risk categories. Results suggest patients with low ADCL had significantly shorter PFS (Cox Hazard Ratio = 0.12, P = 0.0006). OS was significantly shorter with low ADCL tumors, showing a median OS of 407 vs. 644 days (Cox Hazard Ratio = 0.31, P = 0.047). ADCH was not predictive of PFS or OS when accounting for age and ADCL. In summary, newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients with low ADCL after completion of RT+TMZ are likely to progress and die earlier than patients with higher ADCL. Results suggest ADC histogram analysis may be useful for patient risk stratification following completion of RT+TMZ.

Keywords: ADC Histogram Analysis; Diffusion MRI; Glioblastoma.