© 2016 Salice et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unr estricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. To evaluate whether the combination of imaging biomarkers obtained by means of different 3 Tesla (3T) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) advanced techniques can improve the diagnostic accuracy in the differentiation between benign and malignant single ring-enhancing brain masses. Materials and Methods 14 patients presenting at conventional 3T MRI single brain mass with similar appearance as regard ring enhancement, presence of peri-lesional edema and absence of hemorrhage signs were included in the study. All lesions were histologically proven: 5 pyogenic abscesses, 6 glioblastomas, and 3 metastases. MRI was performed at 3 Tesla and included Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI), Dynamic Susceptibility Contrast -Perfusion Weighted Imaging (DSC-PWI), Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS), and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). Imaging biomarkers derived by those advanced techniques [Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF), relative Cerebral Blood Volume (rCBV), relative Main Transit Time (rMTT), Choline (Cho), Creatine (Cr), Succinate, N-Acetyl Aspartate (NAA), Lactate (Lac), Lipids, relative Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (rADC), and Fractional Anisotropy (FA)] were detected by two experienced neuroradiologists in joint session in 4 areas: Internal Cavity (IC), Ring Enhancement (RE), Peri-Lesional edema (PL), and Contralateral Normal Appearing White Matter (CNAWM). Significant differences between benign (n = 5) and malignant (n = 9) ring enhancing lesions were tested with Mann-Withney U test. The diagnostic accuracy of MRI biomarkers taken alone and MRI biomarkers ratios were tested with Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis with an Area Under the Curve (AUC) ô 0.9 indicating a very good diagnostic accuracy of the variable. Results Five MRI biomarker ratios achieved excellent accuracy: IC-rADC/PL-NAA (AUC = 1), ICrADC/IC-FA (AUC = 0.978), RE-rCBV/RE-FA (AUC = 0.933), IC-rADC/RE-FA (AUC = 0.911), and IC-rADC/PL-FA (AUC = 0.911). Only IC-rADC achieved a very good diagnostic accuracy (AUC = 0.909) among MRI biomarkers taken alone. Conclusion Although the major limitation of the study was the small sample size, preliminary results seem to suggest that combination of multiple 3T MRI biomarkers is a feasible approach to MRI biomarkers in order to improve diagnostic accuracy in the differentiation between benign and malignant single ring enhancing brain masses. Further studies in larger cohorts are needed to reach definitive conclusions.
Salice, S., Esposito, R., Ciavardelli, D., Delli Pizzi, S., Bastiano, R. D., & Tartaro, A. (2016). Combined 3 tesla mri biomarkers improve the differentiation between benign vs malignant single ring enhancing brain masses. PLoS ONE, 11(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159047