Objectives: To explore the role of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based histogram analysis and functional diffusion maps (fDMs) in evaluating structural changes of low-grade gliomas (LGGs) receiving temozolomide (TMZ) chemotherapy. Methods: Twenty-one LGG patients underwent 3T-MR examinations before and after three and six cycles of dose-dense TMZ, including 3D-fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences and DTI (b = 1000 s/mm2, 32 directions). Mean diffusivity (MD), fractional anisotropy (FA), and tensor-decomposition DTI maps (p and q) were obtained. Histogram and fDM analyses were performed on co-registered baseline and post-chemotherapy maps. DTI changes were compared with modifications of tumour area and volume [according to Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) criteria], and seizure response. Results: After three cycles of TMZ, 20/21 patients were stable according to RANO criteria, but DTI changes were observed in all patients (Wilcoxon test, P ≤ 0.03). After six cycles, DTI changes were more pronounced (P ≤ 0.005). Seventy-five percent of patients had early seizure response with significant improvement of DTI values, maintaining stability on FLAIR. Early changes of the 25th percentiles of p and MD predicted final volume change (R2 = 0.614 and 0.561, P <0.0005, respectively). TMZ-related changes were located mainly at tumour borders on p and MD fDMs. Conclusions: DTI-based histogram and fDM analyses are useful techniques to evaluate the early effects of TMZ chemotherapy in LGG patients. Key Points: • DTI helps to assess the efficacy of chemotherapy in low-grade gliomas. • Histogram analysis of DTI metrics quantifies structural changes in tumour tissue. • Functional diffusion maps (fDMs) spatially localize the changes of DTI metrics. • Changes in DTI histograms and fDMs precede changes in conventional MRI. • Early changes in DTI histograms and fDMs correlate with seizure response.
- Diffusion Tensor Imaging
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Response Evaluation Criteria
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging