Recent advances in the treatment of malignant gliomas have highlighted the fact that the appearance of new contrast-enhancing lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is not always indicative of tumor recurrence. It has been suggested that transient seizurerelated MRI changes could mimic disease progression (peri-ictal pseudoprogression [PIPG]). However, the clinical and MRI features associated with this situation have not been well described. Here, we consulted the databases of 6 institutions to identify patients with brain tumor who presented during the follow-up period transient MRI lesions wrongly suggesting tumor progression in a context of epileptic seizures. Ten patients were identified. All patients but 1 were longterm survivors who had initially been treated with radiotherapy. The PIPG episode occurred after a median interval of 11 years after radiotherapy. MRI features were highly similar across patients and consisted of transient focal cortical and/or leptomeningeal enhancing lesions that erroneously suggested tumor progression. All patients improved after adjustment of their antiepileptic drugs and transient oral corticosteroids, and MRI findings were normalized 3 months after the PIPG episode. Two patients demonstrated several seizure relapses with the same clinicoradiological pattern. After a median follow-up period of 3.5 years after the initial PIPG episode, only 1 patient presented with a tumor recurrence. In conclusion, in patients with brain tumor, especially in long-term survivors of radiotherapy, the appearance of new cortical and/or leptomeningeal contrast-enhancing lesions in a context of frequent seizures should raise the suspicion of PIPG. This phenomenon is important to recognize in order to avoid futile therapeutic escalation.

Brain tumor, Epilepsy, Glioma, Pseudoprogression, Radiotherapy,
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Rheims, S, Ricard, D, van den Bent, M.J, Taillandier, L, Véronique, B, Désestret, V, … Ducray, F. (2011). Peri-ictal pseudoprogression in patients with brain tumor. Neuro-Oncology, 13(7), 775–782. doi:10.1093/neuonc/nor082