Background: Following chemoradiotherapy for high-grade glioma (HGG), it is often challenging to distinguish treatment changes from true tumor progression using conventional MRI. The diffusion basis spectrum imaging (DBSI) hindered fraction is associated with tissue edema or necrosis, which are common treatment-related changes. We hypothesized that DBSI hindered fraction may augment conventional imaging for earlier diagnosis of progression versus treatment effect. Methods: Adult patients were prospectively recruited if they had a known histologic diagnosis of HGG and completed standard-of-care chemoradiotherapy. DBSI and conventional MRI data were acquired longitudinally beginning 4 weeks post-radiation. Conventional MRI and DBSI metrics were compared with respect to their ability to diagnose progression versus treatment effect. Results: Twelve HGG patients were enrolled between August 2019 and February 2020, and 9 were ultimately analyzed (5 progression, 4 treatment effect). Within new or enlarging contrast-enhancing regions, DBSI hindered fraction was significantly higher in the treatment effect group compared to progression group (P =. 0004). Compared to serial conventional MRI alone, inclusion of DBSI would have led to earlier diagnosis of either progression or treatment effect in 6 (66.7%) patients by a median of 7.7 (interquartile range = 0-20.1) weeks. Conclusions: In the first longitudinal prospective study of DBSI in adult HGG patients, we found that in new or enlarging contrast-enhancing regions following therapy, DBSI hindered fraction is elevated in cases of treatment effect compared to those with progression. Hindered fraction map may be a valuable adjunct to conventional MRI to distinguish tumor progression from treatment effect.
- diffusion MRI
- diffusion basis spectrum imaging
- radiation necrosis