Surveillance imaging frequency in adult patients with lower-grade (WHO Grade 2 and 3) gliomas

Neuro Oncol. 2022 Jul 1;24(7):1035-1047. doi: 10.1093/neuonc/noac031.


With improved outcome following aggressive treatment in patients with grade 2 and 3 IDH-mutant (IDHmt), 1p/19q codeleted oligodendroglioma and IDHmt, non-codeleted astrocytoma, prolonged surveillance is desirable for early detection of tumor growth and malignant transformation. Current National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines provide imaging follow-up recommendations based on molecular classification of lower-grade gliomas, although individualized imaging guidelines based on treatments received and after tumor recurrence are not clearly specified. Other available guidelines have yet to incorporate the molecular biomarkers that inform the WHO classification of gliomas, and in some cases do not adequately consider current knowledge on IDHmt glioma growth rate and recurrence patterns. Moreover, these guidelines also do not provide specific recommendations for concerning clinical symptoms or radiographic findings warranting imaging studies out of prespecified intervals. Focusing on molecularly defined grade 2 and 3 IDHmt astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas, we review current knowledge of tumor growth rates and time to tumor progression for each tumor type and propose a range of recommended MRI surveillance intervals for both the newly diagnosed and recurrent tumor setting. Additionally, we summarize situations in which imaging is advisable outside of these intervals.

Keywords: IDH mutated glioma; astrocytoma; imaging; lower-grade glioma; oligodendroglioma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Astrocytoma*
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Glioma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Glioma* / genetics
  • Glioma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Oligodendroglioma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Oligodendroglioma* / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • World Health Organization


  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase