Purpose: This study uses spatially accurate image-guided tissue analysis to evaluate the correlation between Perfusion MRI (pMRI) and tissue microvascular density parameters as markers for tumor recurrence and treatment response in high-grade glioma (HGG).

Methods: Following Institutional Review Board approval, we recruited previously treated (including chemo-radiation therapy) HGG patients undergoing surgical re-resection of new enhancing lesions on surveillance MRI. Preoperatively, we acquired pMRI and contrast-enhanced stereotactic T1-Weighted (T1W) MRI data sets. Intraoperatively, we recorded stereotactic locations of multiple biopsies based on T1W data sets that guided surgery. Following surgery, we coregistered pMRI and T1W data sets to calculate localized relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) for each stereotactic specimen location. For each specimen, we performed 1) standard H&E staining to diagnose tumor recurrence or post-treatment radiation effect (PTRE); and 2) immunohistochemical analysis with CD34 to highlight tissue vessels. We analyzed CD-34 stained slides with Axiovision Automeasure 3.4 (Zeiss, Germany) to calculate both total microvessel number (MVN) and total microvessel area (MVA), each normalized to total slide specimen area (μm2). We calculated Pearson correlations to establish relationships between a) rCBV and MVN; and b) rCBV and MVA. We also performed t-test to compare MVN, MVA, and rCBV values between tumor and PTRE samples. A neuroradiologist performed all coregistration and pMRI calculations, and a neuropathologist analyzed all tissue specimens, without knowledge of corresponding data. A biostatistician performed all statistical comparisons.

Results: In this preliminary study, we included 16 tissue specimens (from 8 subjects), each diagnosed as either tumor (n=7) or PTRE (n=9). We successfully calculated localized rCBV and determined both MVA and MVN for each specimen. The rCBV values showed highest correlation with total vessel area (MVA) (r=0.65, p=0.007) and slightly less correlation with vessel number (MVN) (r=0.52, p=0.04). Tumor showed significantly higher values than PTRE for all parameters: rCBV (1.87 + 0.82 versus 0.78 + 0.2, p=.002); MVA (0.22 + 0.03 versus 0.04 + 0.007, p=0.0001); and MVN (0.0068 + 0.001 versus. 0.0016 + 0.0006, p=0.0004).

Conclusion: These preliminary results show the promise of Perfusion MRI to non-invasively estimate tissue microvessel density and distinguish tumor recurrence from treatment effects. The current study is ongoing to confirm results in a larger patient population.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2010 Apr 17-21; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2010;70(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 3748.