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Low-grade gliomas (LGGs) are slow growing brain tumors that often cause displacement and/or infiltration of the surrounding white matter pathways. Differentiation between infiltration and displacement of fiber tracts remains a challenge. Currently, there is no reliable noninvasive imaging method capable of revealing such white matter alteration patterns. We employed quantitative anisotropy (QA) derived from generalized q-sampling imaging (GQI) to identify patterns of fiber tract alterations by LGGs.Sixteen patients with a neuropathological diagnosis of LGG (WHO grade II) were enrolled. Peritumoral fiber tracts underwent qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Contralateral hemisphere counterparts were used for comparison. Tracts were qualitatively classified as unaffected, displaced, infiltrated or displaced, and infiltrated at once. The average QA of whole tract (W), peritumoral tract segment (S), and their ratio (S/W) were obtained and compared to the healthy side for quantitative evaluation.Qualitative analysis revealed 9 (13.8%) unaffected, 24 (36.9%) displaced, 13 (20%) infiltrated, and 19 (29.2%) tracts with a combination of displacement and infiltration. There were no disrupted tracts. There was a significant increase in S/W ratio among displaced tracts in the pre-operative scans in comparison with the contralateral side. QA values of peritumoral tract segments (S) were significantly lower in infiltrated tracts.WHO grade II LGGs might displace, infiltrate, or cause a combination of displacement and infiltration of WM tracts. QA derived from GQI provides valuable information that helps to differentiate infiltration from displacement. Anisotropy changes correlate with qualitative alterations, which may serve as a potential biomarker of fiber tract integrity.
View details for PubMedID 29372286