Differentiation of pilocytic and pilomyxoid astrocytomas using dynamic susceptibility contrast perfusion and diffusion weighted imaging

Chang Y. Ho, Nucharin Supakul, Parth U. Patel, Vetana Seit, Michael Groswald, Jeremy Cardinal, Chen Lin, Stephen F. Kralik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Pilocytic (PA) and pilomyxoid astrocytomas (PMA) are related low-grade tumors which occur predominantly in children. PMAs have a predilection for a supratentorial location in younger children with worse outcomes. However, the two have similar imaging characteristics. Quantitative MR sequences such as dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) perfusion and diffusion (DWI) were assessed for significant differences between the two tumor types and locations. Methods: A retrospective search for MRI with DSC and DWI on pathology-proven cases of PMA and PA in children was performed. Tumors were manually segmented on anatomic images registered to rCBV, K2, and ADC maps. Tumors were categorized as PA or PMA, with subclassification of supratentorial and infratentorial locations. Mean values were obtained for tumor groups and locations compared with Student’s t test for significant differences with post hoc correction for multiple comparisons. ROC analysis for significant t test values was performed. Histogram evaluation was also performed. Results: A total of 49 patients met inclusion criteria. This included 30 patients with infratentorial PA, 8 with supratentorial PA, 6 with supratentorial PMA, and 5 with infratentorial PMA. Mean analysis showed significantly increased rCBV for infratentorial PMA (2.39 ± 1.1) vs PA (1.39 ± 0.16, p = 0.0006). ROC analysis for infratentorial PA vs PMA yielded AUC = 0.87 (p < 0.001). Histogram analysis also demonstrated a higher ADC peak location for PMA (1.8 ± 0.2) vs PA (1.56 ± 0.28). Conclusion: PMA has a significantly higher rCBV than PA in the infratentorial space. DSC perfusion and diffusion MR imaging may be helpful to distinguish between the two tumor types in this location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Apparent diffusion coefficient
  • Diffusion weighted imaging
  • Dynamic susceptibility contrast
  • Perfusion imaging
  • Pilocytic astrocytoma
  • Pilomyxoid astrocytoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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