MRI features as a helpful tool to predict the molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma: state of the art

Giovanna Stefania Colafati, Ioan Paul Voicu, Chiara Carducci, Evelina Miele, Andrea Carai, Simona Di Loreto, Antonio Marrazzo, Antonella Cacchione, Valerio Cecinati, Assunta Tornesello, Angela Mastronuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumor. Medulloblastoma should not be viewed as a single disease, but as a heterogeneous mixture of various subgroups with distinct characteristics. Based on genomic profiles, four distinct molecular subgroups are identified: Wingless (WNT), Sonic Hedgehog (SHH), Group 3 and Group 4. Each of these subgroups are associated with specific genetic aberrations, typical age of onset as well as survival prognosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is performed for all patients with brain tumors, and has a key role in the diagnosis, surgical guidance and follow up of patients with medulloblastoma. Several studies indicate MRI as a promising tool for early detection of medulloblastoma subgroups. The early identification of the subgroup can influence the extent of surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy targeted treatments. In this article, we review the state of the art in MRI-facilitated medulloblastoma subgrouping, with a summary of the main MRI features in medulloblastoma and a brief discussion on molecular characterization of medulloblastoma subgroups. The main focus of the article is MRI features that correlate with medulloblastoma subtypes, as well as features suggestive of molecular subgroups. Finally, we briefly discuss the latest trends in MRI studies and latest developments in molecular characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1756286418775375
JournalTherapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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