Clinical utility of intraoperative arterial spin labeling for resection control in brain tumor surgery at 3 T
Arterial spin labeling
Brain tumor
Intraoperative MRI
Perfusion imaging
Residual neoplasm
Glioma surgery
Perfusion MRI
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Calvo-Imirizaldu, M. (Marta); Aramendia-Vidaurreta, V. (Verónica); Sánchez-Albardíaz, C. (Carmen); et al. "Clinical utility of intraoperative arterial spin labeling for resection control in brain tumor surgery at 3 T". NMR in biomedicine. 36(9), 2023, e4938
Resection control in brain tumor surgery can be achieved in real time with intraoperative MRI (iMRI). Arterial spin labeling (ASL), a technique that measures cerebral blood flow (CBF) non-invasively without the use of intravenous contrast agents, can be performed intraoperatively, providing morpho-physiological information. This study aimed to evaluate the feasibility, image quality and potential to depict residual tumor of a pseudo-continuous ASL (PCASL) sequence at 3 T. Seventeen patients with brain tumors, primary (16) or metastatic (1), undergoing resection surgery with iMRI monitoring, were prospectively recruited (nine men, age 56 ± 16.6 years). A PCASL sequence with long labeling duration (3000 ms) and postlabeling delay (2000 ms) was added to the conventional protocol, which consisted of pre- and postcontrast 3D T1 -weighted (T1w) images, optional 3D-FLAIR, and diffusion. Three observers independently assessed the image quality (four-point scale) of PCASL-derived CBF maps. In those with diagnostic quality (Scores 2-4) they evaluated the presence of residual tumor using the conventional sequences first, and the CBF maps afterwards (three-point scale). Inter-observer agreement for image quality and the presence of residual tumor was assessed using Fleiss kappa statistics. The intraoperative CBF ratio of the surgical margins (i.e., perilesional CBF values normalized to contralateral gray matter CBF) was compared with preoperative CBF ratio within the tumor (Wilcoxon's test). Diagnostic ASL image quality was observed in 94.1% of patients (interobserver Fleiss ¿ = 0.76). PCASL showed additional foci suggestive of high-grade residual component in three patients, and a hyperperfused area extending outside the enhancing component in one patient. Interobserver agreement was almost perfect in the evaluation of residual tumor with the conventional sequences (Fleiss ¿ = 0.92) and substantial for PCASL (Fleiss ¿ = 0.80). No significant differences were found between pre and intraoperative CBF ratios (p = 0.578) in patients with residual tumor (n = 7). iMRI-PCASL perfusion is feasible at 3 T and is useful for the intraoperative assessment of residual tumor, providing in some cases additional information to the conventional sequences.

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