A multiparametric model for mapping cellularity in glioblastoma using radiographically localized biopsies

P. D. Chang, H. R. Malone, S. G. Bowden, D. S. Chow, B. J.A. Gill, T. H. Ung, J. Samanamud, Z. K. Englander, A. M. Sonabend, S. A. Sheth, G. M. McKhann, M. B. Sisti, L. H. Schwartz, A. Lignelli, J. Grinband, J. N. Bruce, P. Canoll*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The complex MR imaging appearance of glioblastoma is a function of underlying histopathologic heterogeneity. A better understanding of these correlations, particularly the influence of infiltrating glioma cells and vasogenic edema on T2 and diffusivity signal in nonenhancing areas, has important implications in the management of these patients. With localized biopsies, the objective of this study was to generate a model capable of predicting cellularity at each voxel within an entire tumor volume as a function of signal intensity, thus providing a means of quantifying tumor infiltration into surrounding brain tissue. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ninety-one localized biopsies were obtained from 36 patients with glioblastoma. Signal intensities corresponding to these samples were derived from T1-postcontrast subtraction, T2-FLAIR, and ADC sequences by using an automated coregistration algorithm. Cell density was calculated for each specimen by using an automated cell-counting algorithm. Signal intensity was plotted against cell density for each MR image. RESULTS: T2-FLAIR (r = -0.61) and ADC (r = -0.63) sequences were inversely correlated with cell density. T1-postcontrast (r = 0.69) subtraction was directly correlated with cell density. Combining these relationships yielded a multiparametric model with improved correlation (r = 0.74), suggesting that each sequence offers different and complementary information. CONCLUSIONS: Using localized biopsies, we have generated a model that illustrates a quantitative and significant relationship between MR signal and cell density. Projecting this relationship over the entire tumor volume allows mapping of the intratumoral heterogeneity in both the contrast-enhancing tumor core and nonenhancing margins of glioblastoma and may be used to guide extended surgical resection, localized biopsies, and radiation field mapping.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-898
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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