Purpose. In follow-up examinations of irradiated brain metastases conventional contrast-enhanced morphological MR imaging is often unable to distinguish between transient radiation effects, radionecrosis, and tumor recurrence. To evaluate changes of relative cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in irradiated brain metastases arterial spin-labeling techniques (ASL) were applied and compared to the outcome of 1H MR spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging (1H MRS, SI). Patients and methods. In 2 patients followup examinations of irradiated brain metastases were performed on a 1.5-T tomograph (average single dose: 20 Gy/80% isodose). Relative CBF values of gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and metastases (Met) were measured by means of the ASL techniques ITS-FAIR and Q2TIPS. 1H MRS was performed with PRESS 1500/135. Results. In both patients with initially hyperperfused metastases (Met/GM > 1) the reduction of rCBF after stereotactic radiosurgery indicated response to treatment - even if the contrast-enhancing region increased - while increasing rCBF values indicated tumor progression. The findings were confirmed by 1H MRS, SI and subsequent follow-up. Conclusion. The ASL techniques ITS-FAIR and Q2TIPS are able to monitor changes of rCBF in irradiated brain metastases. The two cases imply a possible role for ASL-MR perfusion imaging and 1H MR spectroscopy in differentiating radiation effects from tumor progression.
- H MR spectroscopy
- Brain metastases
- MR perfusion imaging
- Radiation effects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology