Objectives: Innovative physiologic MRI development focuses on depiction of heterogenous vascular and metabolic features in glioblastoma. For this feasibility study, we employed blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) MRI with standardized and precise carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) modulation to investigate specific tumor tissue response patterns in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
Materials and methods: Seven newly diagnosed untreated patients with suspected glioblastoma were prospectively included to undergo a BOLD study with combined CO2 and O2 standardized protocol. %BOLD signal change/mmHg during hypercapnic, hypoxic, and hyperoxic stimulus was calculated in the whole brain, tumor lesion and segmented volumes of interest (VOI) [contrast-enhancing (CE) - tumor, necrosis and edema] to analyze their tissue response patterns.
Results: Quantification of BOLD signal change after gas challenges can be used to identify specific responses to standardized stimuli in glioblastoma patients. Integration of this approach with automatic VOI segmentation grants improved characterization of tumor subzones and edema. Magnitude of BOLD signal change during the 3 stimuli can be visualized at voxel precision through color-coded maps overlayed onto whole brain and identified VOIs.
Conclusions: Our preliminary investigation shows good feasibility of BOLD with standardized and precise CO2 and O2 modulation as an emerging physiologic imaging technique to detail specific glioblastoma characteristics. The unique tissue response patterns generated can be further investigated to better detail glioblastoma lesions and gauge treatment response.
Keywords: BOLD; Carbon dioxide; Cerebrovascular reactivity; Glioblastoma; Hypercapnia; Hyperoxia; Hypoxia; Oxygen.