Objective: Amide proton transfer (APT) weighted chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) imaging is increasingly used to investigate high-grade, enhancing brain tumours. Non-enhancing glioma is currently less studied, but shows heterogeneous pathophysiology with subtypes having equally poor prognosis as enhancing glioma. Here, we investigate the use of CEST MRI to best differentiate non-enhancing glioma from healthy tissue and image tumour heterogeneity. Materials & Methods: A 3D pulsed CEST sequence was applied at 3 Tesla with whole tumour coverage and 31 off-resonance frequencies (+6 to -6 ppm) in 18 patients with non-enhancing glioma. Magnetisation transfer ratio asymmetry (MTRasym) and Lorentzian difference (LD) maps at 3.5 ppm were compared for differentiation of tumour versus normal appearing white matter. Heterogeneity was mapped by calculating volume percentages of the tumour showing hyperintense APT-weighted signal. Results: LDamide gave greater effect sizes than MTRasym to differentiate non-enhancing glioma from normal appearing white matter. On average, 17.9 % ± 13.3 % (min–max: 2.4 %–54.5 %) of the tumour volume showed hyperintense LDamide in non-enhancing glioma. Conclusion: This works illustrates the need for whole tumour coverage to investigate heterogeneity in increased APT-weighted CEST signal in non-enhancing glioma. Future work should investigate whether targeting hyperintense LDamide regions for biopsies improves diagnosis of non-enhancing glioma.

APT, CEST, NOE, Non-enhancing glioma
dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10334-021-00911-6, hdl.handle.net/1765/135035
Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Department of Radiology

Warnert, E.A.H. (Esther A. H.), Wood, T.C. (Tobias C.), Incekara, F, Barker, G.J. (Gareth J.), Vincent, A, Schouten, J.W, … Tamames, J.A.H. (Juan A. Hernandez). (2021). Mapping tumour heterogeneity with pulsed 3D CEST MRI in non-enhancing glioma at 3 T. Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine. doi:10.1007/s10334-021-00911-6