Identification of single-dose, dual-echo based CBV threshold for fractional tumor burden mapping in recurrent glioblastoma

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BACKGROUND: Relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) obtained from dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI is widely used to distinguish high grade glioma recurrence from post treatment radiation effects (PTRE). Application of rCBV thresholds yield maps to distinguish between regional tumor burden and PTRE, a biomarker termed the fractional tumor burden (FTB). FTB is generally measured using conventional double-dose, single-echo DSC-MRI protocols; recently, a single-dose, dual-echo DSC-MRI protocol was clinically validated by direct comparison to the conventional double-dose, single-echo protocol. As the single-dose, dual-echo acquisition enables reduction in the contrast agent dose and provides greater pulse sequence parameter flexibility, there is a compelling need to establish dual-echo DSC-MRI based FTB mapping. In this study, we determine the optimum standardized rCBV threshold for the single-dose, dual-echo protocol to generate FTB maps that best match those derived from the reference standard, double-dose, single-echo protocol. METHODS: The study consisted of 23 high grade glioma patients undergoing perfusion scans to confirm suspected tumor recurrence. We sequentially acquired single dose, dual-echo and double dose, single-echo DSC-MRI data. For both protocols, we generated leakage-corrected standardized rCBV maps. Standardized rCBV (sRCBV) thresholds of 1.0 and 1.75 were used to compute single-echo FTB maps as the reference for delineating PTRE (sRCBV < 1.0), tumor with moderate angiogenesis (1.0 < sRCBV < 1.75), and tumor with high angiogenesis (sRCBV > 1.75) regions. To assess the sRCBV agreement between acquisition protocols, the concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) was computed between the mean tumor sRCBV values across the patients. A receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was performed to determine the optimum dual-echo sRCBV threshold. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were compared between the obtained optimized threshold (1.64) and the standard reference threshold (1.75) for the dual-echo sRCBV threshold. RESULTS: The mean tumor sRCBV values across the patients showed a strong correlation (CCC = 0.96) between the two protocols. The ROC analysis showed maximum accuracy at thresholds of 1.0 (delineate PTRE from tumor) and 1.64 (differentiate aggressive tumors). The reference threshold (1.75) and the obtained optimized threshold (1.64) yielded similar accuracy, with slight differences in sensitivity and specificity which were not statistically significant (1.75 threshold: Sensitivity = 81.94%; Specificity: 87.23%; Accuracy: 84.58% and 1.64 threshold: Sensitivity = 84.48%; Specificity: 84.97%; Accuracy: 84.73%). CONCLUSIONS: The optimal sRCBV threshold for single-dose, dual-echo protocol was found to be 1.0 and 1.64 for distinguishing tumor recurrence from PTRE; however, minimal differences were observed when using the standard threshold (1.75) as the upper threshold, suggesting that the standard threshold could be used for both protocols. While the prior study validated the agreement of the mean sRCBV values between the protocols, this study confirmed that their voxel-wise agreement is suitable for reliable FTB mapping. Dual-echo DSC-MRI acquisitions enable robust single-dose sRCBV and FTB mapping, provide pulse sequence parameter flexibility and should improve reproducibility by mitigating variations in preload dose and incubation time.


CBV, DSC MRI, fractional tumor burden, glioma, perfusion imaging, pseudoprogression

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Frontiers in oncology





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