Purpose: To determine whether magnetic susceptibility artifact on magnetic resonance (MR) images can be used to grade gliomas.
Materials and methods: Twenty-nine patients with gliomas were prospectively examined with spin-echo T1-weighted MR imaging without and with contrast material enhancement, spin-echo or fast spin-echo T2- and proton-density-weighted MR imaging, and gradient-echo T2*-weighted MR imaging. Images were reviewed by two neuroradiologists, and susceptibility artifacts in the tumor region were graded. Heterogeneity, mass effect, contrast enhancement, and necrosis were also graded. Tumors were graded according to the World Health Organization classification.
Results: Increased susceptibility artifact was detected by at least one observer on gradient-echo MR images of 19 tumors. This feature was seen on only 10 of the spin-echo or fast spin-echo T2-weighted MR images of lesions. Fifteen neoplasms with increased susceptibility artifact detected on MR images by at least one observer were high-grade lesions (anaplastic astrocytoma or glioblastoma multiforme). Lesion susceptibility artifact detected on T2*-weighted MR images was associated with tumor grade (P < .05).
Conclusion: Susceptibility artifacts on T2*-weighted gradient-echo MR images appear to be valuable in the preoperative evaluation of gliomas.