Hypercellularity components of glioblastoma identified by high b-value diffusion-weighted imaging

Priyanka P. Pramanik, Hemant A. Parmar, Aaron G. Mammoser, Larry R. Junck, Michelle M. Kim, Christina I. Tsien, Theodore S. Lawrence, Yue Cao

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29 Scopus citations


Purpose Use of conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for target definition may expose glioblastomas (GB) to inadequate radiation dose coverage of the nonenhanced hypercellular subvolume. This study aimed to develop a technique to identify the hypercellular components of GB by using high b-value diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and to investigate its relationship with the prescribed 95% isodose volume (PDV) and progression-free survival (PFS). Methods and Materials Twenty-one patients with GB underwent chemoradiation therapy post-resection and biopsy. Radiation therapy (RT) treatment planning was based upon conventional MRI. Pre-RT DWIs were acquired in 3 orthogonal directions with b-values of 0, 1000, and 3000 s/mm2. Hypercellularity volume (HCV) was defined on the high b-value (3000 s/mm2) DWI by a threshold method. Nonenhanced signified regions not covered by the Gd-enhanced gross tumor volume (GTV-Gd) on T1-weighted images. The PDV was used to evaluate spatial coverage of the HCV by the dose plan. Association between HCV and PFS or other clinical covariates were assessed using univariate proportional hazards regression models. Results HCVs and nonenhanced HCVs varied from 0.58 to 67 cm3 (median: 9.8 cm3) and 0.15 to 60 cm3 (median: 2.5 cm3), respectively. Fourteen patients had incomplete dose coverage of the HCV, 6 of whom had >1 cm3 HCV missed by the 95% PDV (range: 1.01-25.4 cm3). Of the 15 patients who progressed, 5 progressed earlier, within 6 months post-RT, and 10 patients afterward. Pre-RT HCVs within recurrent GTVs-Gd were 78% (range: 65%-89%) for the 5 earliest progressions but lower, 53% (range: 0%-85%), for the later progressions. HCV and nonenhanced HCV were significant negative prognostic indicators for PFS (P<.002 and P<.01, respectively). The hypercellularity subvolume not covered by the 95% PDV was a significant negative predictor for PFS (P<.05). Conclusions High b-value DWI identifies the hypercellular components of GB and could aid in RT target volume definition. Future studies will allow us to investigate the role of high b-value DWI in identifying radiation boost volumes and diagnosing progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-819
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 15 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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