Optimal differentiation of high- and low-grade glioma and metastasis: a meta-analysis of perfusion, diffusion, and spectroscopy metrics

Neuroradiology. 2016 Apr;58(4):339-50. doi: 10.1007/s00234-016-1642-9. Epub 2016 Jan 15.


Introduction: To perform a meta-analysis of advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) metrics, including relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV), normalized apparent diffusion coefficient (nADC), and spectroscopy ratios choline/creatine (Cho/Cr) and choline/N-acetyl aspartate (Cho/NAA), for the differentiation of high- and low-grade gliomas (HGG, LGG) and metastases (MTS).

Methods: For systematic review, 83 articles (dated 2000-2013) were selected from the NCBI database. Twenty-four, twenty-two, and eight articles were included respectively for spectroscopy, rCBV, and nADC meta-analysis. In the meta-analysis, we calculated overall means for rCBV, nADC, Cho/Cr (short TE-from 20 to 35 ms, medium-from 135 to 144 ms), and Cho/NAA for the HGG, LGG, and MTS groups. We used random effects model to obtain weighted averages and select thresholds.

Results: Overall means (with 95% CI) for rCBV, nADC, Cho/Cr (short and medium echo time, TE), and Cho/NAA were: for HGG 5.47 (4.78-6.15), 1.38 (1.16-1.60), 2.40 (1.67-3.13), 3.27 (2.78-3.77), and 4.71 (3.24-6.19); for LGG 2.00 (1.71-2.28), 1.61 (1.36-1.87), 1.46 (1.20-1.72), 1.71 (1.49-1.93), and 2.36 (1.50-3.23); for MTS 5.06 (3.85-6.27), 1.35 (1.06-1.64), 1.89 (1.72-2.06), 3.14 (1.57-4.72), (Cho/NAA was not available). LGG had significantly lower rCBV, Cho/Cr, and Cho/NAA values than HGG or MTS. No significant differences were found for nADC.

Conclusions: Best differentiation between HGG and LGG is obtained from rCBV, Cho/Cr, and Cho/NAA metrics. MTS could not be reliably distinguished from HGG by the methods investigated.

Keywords: Brain tumor; Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; Meta-analysis; Perfusion magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Glioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Glioma / secondary
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Neoplasm Grading