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Combining amide proton transfer-weighted and arterial spin labeling imaging to differentiate solitary brain metastases from glioblastomas.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical utility of amide proton transfer-weighted imaging (APTw) and arterial spin labeling (ASL) in differentiating solitary brain metastases (SBMs) from glioblastomas (GBMs).

METHODS: Forty-eight patients diagnosed with brain tumors were enrolled. All patients underwent conventional MRI, APTw, and ASL scans on a 3.0 T MRI system. The mean APTw value and mean cerebral blood flow (CBF) value were measured. The differences in various parameters between GBMs and SBMs were assessed using the independent-samples t-test. The quantitative performance of these MRI parameters in distinguishing between GBMs and SBMs was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.

RESULTS: GBMs exhibited significantly higher APTw and CBF values in peritumoral regions compared with SBMs (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference between SBMs and GBMs in tumor cores. APTw MRI had a higher diagnostic efficiency in differentiating SBMs from GBMs (area under the curve [AUC]: 0.864; 75.0% sensitivity and 81.8% specificity). Combined use of APTw and CBF value increased the AUC to 0.927.

CONCLUSION: APTw may be superior to ASL for distinguishing between SBMs and GBMs. Combination of APTw and ASL showed better discrimination and a superior diagnostic performance.

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