Longitudinal Changes in Brain Diffusion MRI Indices during and after Proton Beam Therapy in a Child with Pilocytic Astrocytoma: A Case Report

Citation:

Novello L, Agarwal N, Vennarini S, Lorentini S, Zacà D, Mussano A, Pasternak O, Jovicich J. Longitudinal Changes in Brain Diffusion MRI Indices during and after Proton Beam Therapy in a Child with Pilocytic Astrocytoma: A Case Report. Diagnostics (Basel). 2021;12 (1) :26.

Date Published:

2021 Dec 23

Abstract:

Proton beam therapy (PBT) is an effective pediatric brain tumor treatment. However, the resulting microstructural changes within and around irradiated tumors are unknown. We retrospectively applied diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and free-water imaging (FWI) on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) data to monitor microstructural changes during the PBT and after 8 months in a pilocytic astrocytoma (PA) and normal-appearing white matter (NAWM). We evaluated the conventional MRI- and dMRI-derived indices from six MRI sessions (t0-t5) in a Caucasian child with a hypothalamic PA: at baseline (t0), during the PBT (t1-t4) and after 8 months (t5). The tumor voxels were classified as "solid" or "fluid" based on the FWI. While the tumor volume remained stable during the PBT, the dMRI analyses identified two different response patterns: (i) an increase in fluid content and diffusivity with anisotropy reductions in the solid voxels at t1, followed by (ii) smaller variations in fluid content but higher anisotropy in the solid voxels at t2-t4. At follow-up (t5), the tumor volume, fluid content, and diffusivity in the solid voxels increased. The NAWM showed dose-dependent microstructural changes. The use of the dMRI and FWI showed complex dynamic microstructural changes in the irradiated mass during the PBT and at follow-up, opening new avenues in our understanding of radiation-induced pathophysiologic mechanisms in tumors and the surrounding tissues.

Last updated on 01/25/2022