Telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter mutation and histologic grade in IDH wild-type histological lower-grade gliomas: The value of perfusion-weighted image, diffusion-weighted image, and 18F-FDG-PET

Eur J Radiol. 2023 Feb:159:110658. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2022.110658. Epub 2022 Dec 19.


Purpose: The telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter (TERTp) mutation is an unfavorable prognostic factor in isocitrate dehydrogenase-wildtype (IDHwt) histologically lower-grade astrocytoma (LGA), which was incorporated as a key component in the WHO 2021 classification of IDHwt LGA, replacing histologic grades in the WHO 2016 classification. The purpose of this study was to identify the imaging characteristics predictive of TERTp mutations in IDHwt LGA.

Methods: This retrospective study was approved by our institutional review board. This single-center study retrospectively included 59 patients with pathologically confirmed IDHwt LGA with known TERTp mutation status. In addition to clinical information and morphological characteristics, semi-quantitative imaging biomarkers such as the tumor-to-normal ratio (T/N ratio) on 18F-FDG-PET, normalized apparent diffusion coefficient (nADC), and histogram parameters from normalized relative cerebral blood volume (nrCBV) maps were compared between (a) TERTp-wildtype and TERTp-mutant tumors or (b) grade II and grade III astrocytoma. A p value < 0.05 was considered significant.

Results: There were no significant differences in the conventional imaging findings, T/N ratio on FDG-PET, nrCBV or ADC histogram metrics between IDHwt LGA with TERTp mutations and those without. Grade III IDHwt astrocytomas exhibited significantly higher nrCBV values, T/N ratio and lower ADC parameters than grade II IDHwt astrocytoma.

Conclusions: In patients with IDHwt LGA, T/N ratio, nrCBV values and nADC may be surrogate markers for predicting histologic grade, but are not useful for predicting TERTp mutations.

Keywords: Glioma; Isocitrate dehydrogenase; Magnetic resonance imaging; Positron emission tomography; Telomerase reverse transcriptase.

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Astrocytoma* / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Brain Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Glioma* / diagnostic imaging
  • Glioma* / genetics
  • Glioma* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Perfusion
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Telomerase* / genetics


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • Telomerase
  • TERT protein, human