, Volume 57, Issue 7, pp 697–703 | Cite as

Differentiation of solitary brain metastasis from glioblastoma multiforme: a predictive multiparametric approach using combined MR diffusion and perfusion

  • Adam Herman Bauer
  • William Erly
  • Franklin G. Moser
  • Marcel Maya
  • Kambiz Nael
Diagnostic Neuroradiology



Solitary brain metastasis (MET) and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) can appear similar on conventional MRI. The purpose of this study was to identify magnetic resonance (MR) perfusion and diffusion-weighted biomarkers that can differentiate MET from GBM.


In this retrospective study, patients were included if they met the following criteria: underwent resection of a solitary enhancing brain tumor and had preoperative 3.0 T MRI encompassing diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE), and dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) perfusion. Using co-registered images, voxel-based fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), K trans, and relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) values were obtained in the enhancing tumor and non-enhancing peritumoral T2 hyperintense region (NET2). Data were analyzed by logistic regression and analysis of variance. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to determine the optimal parameter/s and threshold for predicting of GBM vs. MET.


Twenty-three patients (14 M, age 32–78 years old) met our inclusion criteria. Pathology revealed 13 GBMs and 10 METs. In the enhancing tumor, rCBV, K trans, and FA were higher in GBM, whereas MD was lower, neither without statistical significance. In the NET2, rCBV was significantly higher (p = 0.05) in GBM, but MD was significantly lower (p < 0.01) in GBM. FA and K trans were higher in GBM, though not reaching significance. The best discriminative power was obtained in NET2 from a combination of rCBV, FA, and MD, resulting in an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.98.


The combination of MR diffusion and perfusion matrices in NET2 can help differentiate GBM over solitary MET with diagnostic accuracy of 98 %.


Glioblastoma multiforme Intracranial metastasis Dynamic contrast enhancement Dynamic susceptibility contrast Diffusion tensor imaging 


Ethical standards and patient consent

We declare that all human and animal studies have been approved by the University of Arizona IRB and have therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. We declare that all patients gave informed consent prior to inclusion in this study.

Conflict of interest

KN consults for Olea Medical.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam Herman Bauer
    • 1
  • William Erly
    • 2
  • Franklin G. Moser
    • 1
  • Marcel Maya
    • 1
  • Kambiz Nael
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Medical ImagingCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical ImagingUniversity of Arizona Medical CenterTucsonUSA

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