Imaging characteristics of adult H3 K27M-mutant gliomas

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OBJECTIVE

H3 K27M-mutant gliomas present heterogeneously in terms of pathology, imaging, and prognosis. This study aimed to summarize the imaging characteristics of adult H3 K27M-mutant gliomas.

METHODS

The authors retrospectively identified all cases of glioma diagnosed using histopathological studies (n = 3300) that tested positive for histone H3 K27M mutations (n = 75) between January 2016 and December 2018 in a single hospital. Preoperative and follow-up MR images of 66 adult patients (age ≥ 18 years) were reviewed for anatomical location, degree of contrast enhancement, enhancement patterns, hemorrhage, edema, diffusion restriction, tumor dissemination, and tumor spread.

RESULTS

The study included 66 cases (40 in men, 26 in women) of H3 K27M-mutant glioma in adult patients. Tumors were found in the following sites: thalamus (n = 38), brainstem (n = 6), brainstem with cerebellar or thalamic involvement (n = 4), whole brain (n = 8), corpus callosum (n = 3), hypothalamus (n = 1), hemispheres (n = 2), and spinal cord (n = 4). All pure brainstem lesions were located posteriorly, and all corpus callosal lesions were in the genu. Most spinal tumors were long-segment lesions. Hemispheric lesions mimicked gliomatosis cerebri in presentation, with the addition of traditional midline structure involvement. Most tumors were solid with relatively uniform signals on plain MRI. Of the 61 cases with contrast-enhanced MR images, 36 (59%) showed partial to no enhancement, whereas 25 (41%) showed diffuse or irregular peripheral enhancement. Hemorrhage and edema were rare. Most lesions were solid and showed mild diffusion restriction on diffusion-weighted imaging. Tumor dissemination to the leptomeninges (n = 8) and subependymal layer (n = 3) was observed.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors described the MRI features of diffuse midline glioma with H3 K27M mutation in the largest study done to date in adult patients. Tumors were found in both midline and nonmidline structures, with the thalamus being the most common site. Although adult H3 K27M-mutant gliomas demonstrated highly variable presentations in this cohort of patients, the authors were able to observe shared characteristics within each location.

ABBREVIATIONS DWI = diffusion-weighted imaging; H3 K27M = histone H3 lysine27-to-methionine mutation.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

Correspondence Shuguang Chu: Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China. chushu1018@hotmail.com.INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online November 15, 2019; DOI: 10.3171/2019.9.JNS191920.

T.Q., A.C., and Z.Q. contributed equally to this work.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study or the findings specified in this paper.
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