Dynamic susceptibility contrast and diffusion MR imaging identify oligodendroglioma as defined by the 2016 WHO classification for brain tumors: histogram analysis approach

Neuroradiology. 2019 May;61(5):545-555. doi: 10.1007/s00234-019-02173-5. Epub 2019 Feb 2.


Purpose: According to the revised World Health Organization (WHO) Classification of Tumors of the Central Nervous System (CNS) of 2016, oligodendrogliomas are now defined primarily by a specific molecular signature (presence of IDH mutation and 1p19q codeletion). The purpose of our study was to assess the value of dynamic susceptibility contrast MR imaging (DSC-MRI) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to characterize oligodendrogliomas and to distinguish them from astrocytomas.

Methods: Seventy-one adult patients with untreated WHO grade II and grade III diffuse infiltrating gliomas and known 1p/19q codeletion status were retrospectively identified and analyzed using relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps based on whole-tumor volume histograms. The Mann-Whitney U test and logistic regression were used to assess the ability of rCBV and ADC to differentiate between oligodendrogliomas and astrocytomas both independently, but also related to the WHO grade. Prediction performance was evaluated in leave-one-out cross-validation (LOOCV).

Results: Oligodendrogliomas showed significantly higher microvascularity (higher rCBVMean ≥ 0.80, p = 0.013) and higher vascular heterogeneity (lower rCBVPeak ≤ 0.044, p = 0.015) than astrocytomas. Diffuse gliomas with higher cellular density (lower ADCMean ≤ 1094 × 10-6 mm2/s, p = 0.009) were more likely to be oligodendrogliomas than astrocytomas. Histogram analysis of rCBV and ADC was able to differentiate between diffuse astrocytomas (WHO grade II) and anaplastic astrocytomas (WHO grade III).

Conclusion: Histogram-derived rCBV and ADC parameter may be used as biomarkers for identification of oligodendrogliomas and may help characterize diffuse gliomas based upon their genetic characteristics.

Keywords: Diffuse glioma; Diffusion MRI; Perfusion MRI.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Astrocytoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Astrocytoma / genetics
  • Astrocytoma / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Codon
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Echo-Planar Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligodendroglioma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Oligodendroglioma / genetics
  • Oligodendroglioma / pathology
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tumor Burden


  • Codon
  • Contrast Media
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • gadobutrol