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The Potential Role of Peritumoral Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Evaluation in Differentiating Glioblastoma and Solitary Metastatic Lesions of the Brain


Murat Tepe*, Suzan Saylisoy, Ugur Toprak and Ibrahim Inan  


Objective: Differentiating glioblastoma (GBM) and solitary metastasis is not always possible using conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. In conventional brain MRI, GBM and brain metastases are lesions with mostly similar imaging findings. In this study, we investigated whether apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) ratios, ADC gradients, and minimum ADC values in the peritumoral edema tissue can be used to discriminate between these two tumors.

Methods: This retrospective study was approved by the local institutional review board with a waiver of written informed consent. Prior to surgical and medical treatment, conventional brain MRI and diffusion-weighted MRI (b = 0 and b = 1000) images were taken from 43 patients (12 GBM and 31 solitary metastasis cases). Quantitative ADC measurements were performed on the peritumoral tissue from the nearest segment to the tumor (ADC1), the middle segment (ADC2), and the most distant segment (ADC3). The ratios of these three values were determined proportionally to calculate the peritumoral ADC ratios. In addition, these three values were subtracted from each other to obtain the peritumoral ADC gradients. Lastly, the minimum peritumoral and tumoral ADC values, and the quantitative ADC values from the normal appearing ipsilateral white matter, contralateral white matter and ADC values from cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were recorded.

Results: For the differentiation of GBM and solitary metastasis, ADC3 / ADC1 was the most powerful parameter with a sensitivity of 91.7% and specificity of 87.1% at the cut-off value of 1.105 (p < 0.001), followed by ADC3 / ADC2 with a cut-off value of 1.025 (p = 0.001), sensitivity of 91.7%, and specificity of 74.2%. The cut-off, sensitivity and specificity of ADC2 / ADC1 were 1.055 (p = 0.002), 83.3%, and 67.7%, respectively. For ADC3 – ADC1, the cut-off value, sensitivity and specificity were calculated as 150 (p < 0.001), 91.7% and 83.9%, respectively. ADC3 – ADC2 had a cut-off value of 55 (p = 0.001), sensitivity of 91.7%, and specificity of 77.4 whereas ADC2 – ADC1 had a cut-off value of 75 (p = 0.003), sensitivity of 91.7%, and specificity of 61.3%. Among the remaining parameters, only the ADC3 value successfully differentiated between GBM and metastasis (GBM 1802.50 ± 189.74 vs. metastasis 1634.52 ± 212.65, p = 0.022).

Conclusion: The integration of the evaluation of peritumoral ADC ratio and ADC gradient into conventional MR imaging may provide valuable information for differentiating GBM from solitary metastatic lesions.


Glioblastoma, brain metastasis, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), peritumoral edema, GBM, diffusion MRI.


Yunus Emre State Hospital, Department of Radiology, Tepebasi Eskisehir, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Eskisehir, Eskisehir Osmangazi University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Radiology, Eskisehir, Adiyaman University, Training and Research Hospital, Department of Radiology, Adiyaman

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