JOURNAL ARTICLE
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[Value of perfusion MRI in the study of pilocytic astrocytoma and hemangioblastoma: preliminary findings].

PURPOSE: Pilocytic astrocytomas (PA) and hemangioblastomas (HB) can present the same morphological characteristics on conventional MRI sequences, most usually in the form of a cerebellar cystic mass with a mural nodule that strongly enhances on post-contrast T1 images. We discuss here the value of perfusion MRI in the differentiation of these two tumors, the diagnoses of which have already been histopathologically established.

METHOD: Eleven patients with PA and eight with HB underwent first-pass perfusion MRI. The maximum relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV(max)), defined as the ratio between the CBV(max) in tumor tissue and the CBV in healthy, contralateral white matter, is considered to be indicative of the type of tumor.

RESULTS: The difference between the rCBV(max) of PA (rCBV(max)=1.19+/-0.71, range 0.6-3.27) compared with that of HB (rCBV(max)=9.37+/-2.37, range 5.38-13) was significant (P<0.001). The first-pass curve crossed the baseline, corresponding to vascular permeability problems in both PA and HB.

CONCLUSION: The first-pass method of perfusion MRI is a quick and useful way to differentiate between PA and HB.

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