Purpose: The use of DSC-MR imaging in pediatric neuroradiology is gradually growing. However, the number of studies listed in the literature remains limited. We propose to assess the perfusion and permeability parameters in pediatric brain tumor grading.
Methods: Thirty children with a brain tumor having benefited from a DSC-MR perfusion sequence have been retrospectively explored. Relative CBF and CBV were computed on the ROI with the largest lesion coverage. Assessment of the lesion's permeability was also performed through the semi-quantitative PSR parameter and the K2 model-based parameter on the whole-lesion ROI and a reduced ROI drawn on the permeability maps. A statistical comparison of high- and low-grade groups (HG, LG) as well as a ROC analysis was performed on the histogram-based parameters.
Results: Our results showed a statistically significant difference between LG and HG groups for mean rCBV (p < 10-3), rCBF (p < 10-3), and for PSR (p = 0.03) but not for the K2 factor (p = 0.5). However, the ratio K2/PSR was shown to be a strong discriminating factor between the two groups of lesions (p < 10-3). For rCBV and rCBF indicators, high values of ROC AUC were obtained (> 0.9) and mean value thresholds were observed at 1.07 and 1.03, respectively. For K2/PSR in the reduced area, AUC was also superior to 0.9.
Conclusions: The implementation of a dynamic T2* perfusion sequence provided reliable results using an objective whole-lesion ROI. Perfusion parameters as well as a new permeability indicator could efficiently discriminate high-grade from low-grade lesions in the pediatric population.
Keywords: Brain; Child; MR perfusion; Neoplasms; Permeability.