Can proton MR spectroscopic and perfusion imaging differentiate between neoplastic and nonneoplastic brain lesions in adults?

R. Hourani, L. J. Brant, T. Rizk, J. D. Weingart, P. B. Barker, Alena Horská

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Noninvasive diagnosis of brain lesions is important for the correct choice of treatment. Our aims were to investigate whether 1) proton MR spectroscopic imaging (1H-MRSI) can aid in differentiating between tumors and nonneoplastic brain lesions, and 2) perfusion MR imaging can improve the classification. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively examined 69 adults with untreated primary brain lesions (brain tumors, n = 36; benign lesions, n = 10; stroke, n = 4; demyelination, n = 10; and stable lesions not confirmed on pathologic examination, n = 9). MR imaging and 1H-MRSI were performed at 1.5T before biopsy or treatment. Concentrations of N-acetylaspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr), and choline (Cho) in the lesion were expressed as metabolite ratios and were normalized to the contralateral hemisphere. Dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced perfusion MR imaging was performed in a subset of patients (n = 32); relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) was evaluated. Discriminant function analysis was used to identify variables that can predict inclusion in the neoplastic or nonneoplastic lesion groups. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to compare the discriminatory capability of 1H-MRSI and perfusion MR imaging. RESULTS: The discriminant function analysis correctly classified 84.2% of original grouped cases (P < .0001), on the basis of NAA/Cho, Cho norm, NAAnorm, and NAA/Cr ratios. MRSI and perfusion MR imaging had similar discriminatory capabilities in differentiating tumors from nonneoplastic lesions. With cutoff points of NAA/Cho ≤0.61 and rCBV ≥1.50 (corresponding to diagnosis of the tumors), a sensitivity of 72.2% and specificity of 91.7% in differentiating tumors from nonneoplastic lesions were achieved. CONCLUSION: These results suggest a promising role for 1H-MRSI and perfusion MR imaging in the distinction between brain tumors and nonneoplastic lesions in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-372
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Can proton MR spectroscopic and perfusion imaging differentiate between neoplastic and nonneoplastic brain lesions in adults?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this