Radiology Profile as a Potential Instrument to Differentiate Between Posterior Fossa Ependymoma (PF-EPN) Group A and B

World Neurosurg. 2020 Aug;140:e320-e327. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2020.05.063. Epub 2020 May 16.


Objective: Posterior fossa ependymoma (PF-EPN) was categorized into PF-EPN-A and PF-EPN-B subgroups based on the DNA methylation profiling. PF-EPN-A was reported to have poorer prognosis compared with PF-EPN-B. In this study, we particularly evaluated preoperative imaging to distinguish PF-EPN-A from PF-EPN-B.

Methods: Sixteen cases of PF-EPN were treated in our institution from 1999 to 2018. The patients were divided into PF-EPN-A and PF-EPN-B groups based on H3K27me3 immunostaining positivity. We evaluated progression-free survival, overall survival, as well as preoperative magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scan images in both groups. Based on T1WI and Gd-T1WI magnetic resonance images, the tumor contrast rate was determined from dividing the volume of gadolinium enhanced tumor by the overall tumor volume.

Results: Nine cases (4 male, 5 female) were grouped as PF-EPN-A, and 7 (4 male, 3 female) as PF-EPN-B. The median age of PF-EPN-A and PF-EPN-B were 4 and 43 years old, respectively. In the PF-EPN-A group, the progression-free survival median value was 32.6 months, and the overall survival median was 96.9 months. In contrast, PFS in PF-EPN-B did not reach a median value (P < 0.05) and all the patients were alive (P < 0.05) at the end of the study. With imaging, tumor contrast rate in PF-EPN-B was more than 50% and significantly different from PF-EPN-A (P = 0.0294). Calcification was mainly observed in PF-EPN-A, whereas cystic formation was only seen in PF-EPN-B.

Conclusions: Contrast rate less than 50%, based on the magnetic resonance images, was characteristic in the PF-EPN-A group. Comparatively, cystic component and absence of calcification were more characteristic in the PF-EPN-B group.

Keywords: Contrast rate; H3K27me3; MR image; Posterior fossa ependymoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Ependymoma / classification
  • Ependymoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ependymoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Infant
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / classification
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Infratentorial Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Progression-Free Survival
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods