MRI of high-grade glial tumors: correlation between the degree of contrast enhancement and the volume of surrounding edema
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Contrast enhancement of malignant gliomas and the development of peritumoral edema are thought to be due to a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The degree to which these two factors are related to each other or to the degree of damage to the BBB is unknown. Our purpose was to quantitatively correlate the degree of enhancement with Gd-DTPA of anaplastic gliomas and glioblastoma multiforme with the volume of surrounding edema. In 14 patients, quantitative measurements of the volume of peritumoral edema and the degree of contrast enhancement were made. A high degree of correlation was found (r = 0.86, P < 0.01). These results can be viewed as indirect, radiological evidence that edema production is quantitatively related to the degree of breakdown of the BBB as determined by gadolinium enhancement. These results imply that the origin of the edema is in the area of breakdown of the BBB.
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