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Imaging of adult brainstem gliomas


Purohit, Bela; Kamli, Ali A; Kollias, Spyros S (2015). Imaging of adult brainstem gliomas. European Journal of Radiology, 84(4):709-720.

Abstract

Brainstem gliomas (BSGs) are uncommon in adults accounting for about 2% of all intracranial neoplasms. They are often phenotypically low-grade as compared to their more common paediatric counterparts. Since brainstem biopsies are rarely performed, these tumours are commonly classified according to their MR imaging characteristics into 4 subgroups (a) diffuse intrinsic low-grade gliomas, (b) enhancing malignant gliomas, (c) focal tectal gliomas and (d) exophytic gliomas/other subtypes. The prognosis and treatment is variable for the different types and is almost similar to adult supratentorial gliomas. Radiotherapy (RT) with adjuvant chemotherapy is the standard treatment of diffuse low-grade and malignant BSGs, whereas, surgical resection is limited to the exophytic subtypes. Review of previous literature shows that the detailed imaging of adult BSGs has not received significant attention. This review illustrates in detail the imaging features of adult BSGs using conventional and advanced MR techniques like diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), MR perfusion weighted imaging (PWI), MR spectroscopy (MRS), as well as 18 F-fluoro-ethyl-tyrosine positron emission tomography (18F-FET/PET). We have discussed the pertinent differences between childhood and adult BSGs, imaging mimics, prognostic factors and briefly reviewed the treatment options of these tumours.

Brainstem gliomas (BSGs) are uncommon in adults accounting for about 2% of all intracranial neoplasms. They are often phenotypically low-grade as compared to their more common paediatric counterparts. Since brainstem biopsies are rarely performed, these tumours are commonly classified according to their MR imaging characteristics into 4 subgroups (a) diffuse intrinsic low-grade gliomas, (b) enhancing malignant gliomas, (c) focal tectal gliomas and (d) exophytic gliomas/other subtypes. The prognosis and treatment is variable for the different types and is almost similar to adult supratentorial gliomas. Radiotherapy (RT) with adjuvant chemotherapy is the standard treatment of diffuse low-grade and malignant BSGs, whereas, surgical resection is limited to the exophytic subtypes. Review of previous literature shows that the detailed imaging of adult BSGs has not received significant attention. This review illustrates in detail the imaging features of adult BSGs using conventional and advanced MR techniques like diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), MR perfusion weighted imaging (PWI), MR spectroscopy (MRS), as well as 18 F-fluoro-ethyl-tyrosine positron emission tomography (18F-FET/PET). We have discussed the pertinent differences between childhood and adult BSGs, imaging mimics, prognostic factors and briefly reviewed the treatment options of these tumours.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:30 Jan 2015 14:39
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 18:57
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0720-048X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrad.2014
PubMed ID:25641008

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