The T2-FLAIR mismatch sign as an imaging biomarker for oligodendrogliomas in dogs

J Vet Intern Med. 2023 Jul-Aug;37(4):1447-1454. doi: 10.1111/jvim.16749. Epub 2023 May 29.


Background: In humans, the T2-weighted (T2W)-fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) mismatch sign (T2FMM) is a specific imaging biomarker for the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1)-mutated, 1p/19q non-codeleted low-grade astrocytomas (LGA). The T2FMM is characterized by a homogeneous hyperintense T2W signal and a hypointense signal with a hyperintense peripheral rim on FLAIR sequences. In gliomas in dogs, the T2FMM has not been described.

Hypotheses/objectives: In dogs with focal intra-axial brain lesions, T2FMM will discriminate gliomas from other lesions. The T2FMM will be associated with the LGA phenotype and presence of microcysts on histopathology. Interobserver agreement for T2FMM magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features will be high.

Animals: One hundred eighty-six dogs with histopathologically diagnosed focal intra-axial lesions on brain MRI including oligodendrogliomas (n = 90), astrocytomas (n = 47), undefined gliomas (n = 9), cerebrovascular accidents (n = 33), and inflammatory lesions (n = 7).

Methods: Two blinded raters evaluated the 186 MRI studies and identified cases with the T2FMM. Histopathologic and immunohistochemical slides of T2FMM cases were evaluated for morphologic features and IDH1-mutations and compared to cases without the T2FMM. Gene expression analyses were performed on a subset of oligodendrogliomas (n = 10) with and without T2FMM.

Results: The T2FMM was identified in 14/186 (8%) of MRI studies, and all dogs with T2FMM had oligodendrogliomas (n = 12 low-grade [LGO], n = 2 high-grade [HGO]; P < .001). Microcystic change was significantly associated with the T2FMM (P < .00001). In oligodendrogliomas with T2FMM, IDH1-mutations or specific differentially expressed genes were not identified.

Conclusion and clinical importance: The T2FMM can be readily identified on routinely obtained MRI sequences. It is a specific biomarker for oligodendroglioma in dogs, and was significantly associated with non-enhancing LGO.

Keywords: CNS disorders; brain tumor; magnetic resonance imaging; neuroimaging; neurology; oncology-diagnosis; radiology and diagnostic imaging.