SA Journal of Radiology

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Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging increases the overall diagnostic accuracy in brain tumours: Correlation with histopathology

K Abul-Kasim, M Thurnher, S Puchner, P Sundgren


Background. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the contribution of multimodal MRI techniques, specifically perfusion-weighted
imaging (PWI), and/or MR spectroscopy (MRS), in increasing the diagnostic accuracy of MRI in brain tumours.
Methods. Forty-four patients with suspected brain tumours (27 (61%) patients male, mean age 58 (standard deviation ±17) years) were included in this retrospective analysis. Patients were examined with conventional MR sequences, DWI, and with PWI and/or MRS. The concordance between the diagnoses obtained with multimodal MRI and with the conventional MR sequences, and the final diagnosis obtained by biopsy, was estimated. Fisher’s exact test and/or chi-square test was performed to estimate the added utility of multimodal MRI. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05.
Results. With multimodal MRI, the diagnosis in 41 (93%) patients was the same as that obtained by biopsy, compared with 39% (17/44) patients
when the readers were allowed to give one diagnostic possibility during the evaluation of the conventional MR sequences alone (p<0.001). The
concordance between the diagnoses provided by evaluating the multimodal MRIs and the final diagnoses was almost perfect (ê value 0.92, 95%
CI 0.82 - 1.0). PWI primarily helped to differentiate lymphomas from other solid tumours, whereas MRS helped to differentiate malignant glioma
from metastasis. Both PWI and MRS helped in grading astrocytomas.
Conclusion. Multimodal MRI increases diagnostic accuracy and should, wherever available, be performed in the work-up of brain tumours, although this entails increased examination cost and time.

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