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Molecular classification of patients with grade II/III glioma using quantitative MRI characteristics.

  • Author(s): Bahrami, Naeim
  • Hartman, Stephen J
  • Chang, Yu-Hsuan
  • Delfanti, Rachel
  • White, Nathan S
  • Karunamuni, Roshan
  • Seibert, Tyler M
  • Dale, Anders M
  • Hattangadi-Gluth, Jona A
  • Piccioni, David
  • Farid, Nikdokht
  • McDonald, Carrie R
  • et al.


Molecular markers of WHO grade II/III glioma are known to have important prognostic and predictive implications and may be associated with unique imaging phenotypes. The purpose of this study is to determine whether three clinically relevant molecular markers identified in gliomas-IDH, 1p/19q, and MGMT status-show distinct quantitative MRI characteristics on FLAIR imaging.


Sixty-one patients with grade II/III gliomas who had molecular data and MRI available prior to radiation were included. Quantitative MRI features were extracted that measured tissue heterogeneity (homogeneity and pixel correlation) and FLAIR border distinctiveness (edge contrast; EC). T-tests were conducted to determine whether patients with different genotypes differ across the features. Logistic regression with LASSO regularization was used to determine the optimal combination of MRI and clinical features for predicting molecular subtypes.


Patients with IDH wildtype tumors showed greater signal heterogeneity (p = 0.001) and lower EC (p = 0.008) within the FLAIR region compared to IDH mutant tumors. Among patients with IDH mutant tumors, 1p/19q co-deleted tumors had greater signal heterogeneity (p = 0.002) and lower EC (p = 0.005) compared to 1p/19q intact tumors. MGMT methylated tumors showed lower EC (p = 0.03) compared to the unmethylated group. The combination of FLAIR border distinctness, heterogeneity, and pixel correlation optimally classified tumors by IDH status.


Quantitative imaging characteristics of FLAIR heterogeneity and border pattern in grade II/III gliomas may provide unique information for determining molecular status at time of initial diagnostic imaging, which may then guide subsequent surgical and medical management.

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