Potential of high field functional MRI in the neuroradiological diagnosis of brain tumours

C. Bonicelli, A. Bacci, R. Agati, Marco Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Functional 3 tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques such as diffusion and perfusion imaging and MR spectroscopy (MRS) allow a more accurate diagnosis of central nervous system tumours. This retrospective study analysed the MRI scans of 121 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of glial brain tumours who underwent surgery and/or biopsy and whose histological reports were available. Our aim was to establish if and how functional MRI techniques had enhanced the diagnostic accuracy with respect to morphological examination. To quantify the diagnostic contribution of these techniques and their predictive value, a questionnaire was com-piled by an observer blinded to the neuroradiological diagnosis and to the histological results after surgery/biopsy. Patients were divided into two groups based on the time of 3T MRI examination performed: before or after surgery/biopsy. In the group of non-operated patients low grade gliomas could be distinguished from high grade malignant tumours, whereas in the group of operated patients signs of tumour persistence or recurrence could be distinguished from the effects of previous treatments. Functional MRI techniques improved the accuracy of diagnosis with respect to morphological examination alone in both groups of patients: areas of increased cellularity, neoangiogenesis or metabolic changes were identified confirming diagnosis, whereas methodological errors were disclosed in cases of incorrect diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-545
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroradiology Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


  • 3T MR
  • Brain tumours
  • Functional techniques
  • Histological diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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