Michael Iv, Omar Choudhri, Robert L. Dodd, Shreyas S. Vasanawala, Marcus T. Alley, Michael Moseley, Samantha J. Holdsworth, Gerald Grant, Samuel Cheshier and Kristen W. Yeom
Patients with brain arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) often require repeat imaging with MRI or MR angiography (MRA), CT angiography (CTA), and digital subtraction angiography (DSA). The ideal imaging modality provides excellent vascular visualization without incurring added risks, such as radiation exposure. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the performance of ferumoxytol-enhanced MRA using a high-resolution 3D volumetric sequence (fe-SPGR) for visualizing and grading pediatric brain AVMs in comparison with CTA and DSA, which is the current imaging gold standard.
In this retrospective cohort study, 21 patients with AVMs evaluated by fe-SPGR, CTA, and DSA between April 2014 and August 2017 were included. Two experienced raters graded AVMs using Spetzler-Martin criteria on all imaging studies. Lesion conspicuity (LC) and diagnostic confidence (DC) were assessed using a 5-point Likert scale, and interrater agreement was determined. The Kruskal-Wallis test was performed to assess the raters’ grades and scores of LC and DC, with subsequent post hoc pairwise comparisons to assess for statistically significant differences between pairs of groups at p < 0.05.
Assigned Spetzler-Martin grades for AVMs on DSA, fe-SPGR, and CTA were not significantly different (p = 0.991). LC and DC scores were higher with fe-SPGR than with CTA (p < 0.05). A significant difference in LC scores was found between CTA and fe-SPGR (p < 0.001) and CTA and DSA (p < 0.001) but not between fe-SPGR and DSA (p = 0.146). A significant difference in DC scores was found among DSA, fe-SPGR, and CTA (p < 0.001) and between all pairs of the groups (p < 0.05). Interrater agreement was good to very good for all image groups (κ = 0.77–1.0, p < 0.001).
Fe-SPGR performed robustly in the diagnostic evaluation of brain AVMs, with improved visual depiction of AVMs compared with CTA and comparable Spetzler-Martin grading relative to CTA and DSA.
Lily H. Kim, Edward H. Lee, Michelle Galvez, Murat Aksoy, Stefan Skare, Rafael O’Halloran, Michael S. B. Edwards, Samantha J. Holdsworth and Kristen W. Yeom
Spine MRI is a diagnostic modality for evaluating pediatric CNS tumors. Applying diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) or diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to the spine poses challenges due to intrinsic spinal anatomy that exacerbates various image-related artifacts, such as signal dropouts or pileups, geometrical distortions, and incomplete fat suppression. The zonal oblique multislice (ZOOM)–echo-planar imaging (EPI) technique reduces geometric distortion and image blurring by reducing the field of view (FOV) without signal aliasing into the FOV. The authors hypothesized that the ZOOM-EPI method for spine DTI in concert with conventional spinal MRI is an efficient method for augmenting the evaluation of pediatric spinal tumors.
Thirty-eight consecutive patients (mean age 8 years) who underwent ZOOM-EPI spine DTI for CNS tumor workup were retrospectively identified. Patients underwent conventional spine MRI and ZOOM-EPI DTI spine MRI. Two blinded radiologists independently reviewed two sets of randomized images: conventional spine MRI without ZOOM-EPI DTI, and conventional spine MRI with ZOOM-EPI DTI. For both image sets, the reviewers scored the findings based on lesion conspicuity and diagnostic confidence using a 5-point Likert scale. The reviewers also recorded presence of tumors. Quantitative apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurements of various spinal tumors were extracted. Tractography was performed in a subset of patients undergoing presurgical evaluation.
Sixteen patients demonstrated spinal tumor lesions. The readers were in moderate agreement (kappa = 0.61, 95% CI 0.30–0.91). The mean scores for conventional MRI and combined conventional MRI and DTI were as follows, respectively: 3.0 and 4.0 for lesion conspicuity (p = 0.0039), and 2.8 and 3.9 for diagnostic confidence (p < 0.001). ZOOM-EPI DTI identified new lesions in 3 patients. In 3 patients, tractography used for neurosurgical planning showed characteristic fiber tract projections. The mean weighted ADCs of low- and high-grade tumors were 1201 × 10−6 and 865 × 10−6 mm2/sec (p = 0.002), respectively; the mean minimum weighted ADCs were 823 × 10−6 and 474 × 10−6 mm2/sec (p = 0.0003), respectively.
Diffusion MRI with ZOOM-EPI can improve the detection of spinal lesions while providing quantitative diffusion information that helps distinguish low- from high-grade tumors. By adding a 2-minute DTI scan, quantitative diffusion information and tract profiles can reliably be obtained and serve as a useful adjunct to presurgical planning for pediatric spinal tumors.