Quantitative magnetisation transfer imaging in glioma: preliminary results

Daniel J Tozer, Jeremy H Rees, Christopher E Benton, Adam Waldman, H Rolf Jäger, Paul S Tofts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Quantitative magnetisation transfer imaging (qMTI) is an extension of conventional MT techniques and allows the measurement of parameters that reflect tissue ultrastructure through the properties of macromolecule-bound protons; these include the bound proton fraction and the relaxation times of free and bound proton pools. It has been used in multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease, and has shown changes in some of the parameters, particularly the bound proton fraction. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess whether qMTI could distinguish between gliomas and normal brain tissue, and provide proof of principle for its use in tumour characterisation. Eight subjects [three men, five women; mean age, 44 years; range, 27-66 years; seven World Health Organization (WHO) Grade II, one Grade III] with biopsy-proven glioma were imaged with a structural MRI protocol that included three-dimensional qMTI. qMTI parameters were extracted from regions of interest selected from different tumour components visible on conventional MR sequences, normal-appearing peritumoral tissue and distant normal-appearing white matter. All patients gave informed consent and the study was approved by the Local Research Ethics Committee. Almost all of the qMTI parameters detected abnormalities in both glioma and the peritumoral region relative to the distant white matter. In particular, the bound proton fraction was reduced significantly from 6.0 percentage units (pu) [standard deviation (SD), 0.5 pu] in normal-appearing white matter to 1.7 pu (SD = 0.5 pu) in solid tumour and 2.2 pu (SD = 0.5 pu) in peritumoral areas. This work shows that qMTI reveals abnormalities, not only in glioma, but also in the apparently normal tissue surrounding the conventionally defined tumour. Thus, qMTI shows promise for tumour characterisation and for studying tumour boundaries. These preliminary data justify larger studies in a range of different tumour types and grades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-8
Number of pages7
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Female
  • Glioma
  • Humans
  • Magnetics
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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