European Radiology

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 3022–3032 | Cite as

Prognostic relevance of gemistocytic grade II astrocytoma: gemistocytic component and MR imaging features compared to non-gemistocytic grade II astrocytoma

  • Young Jin Heo
  • Ji Eun Park
  • Ho Sung Kim
  • Ji Ye Lee
  • Soo Jeong Nam
  • Seung Chai Jung
  • Choong Gon Choi
  • Sang Joon Kim
Magnetic Resonance



To determine if gemistocytic grade II astrocytoma (GemA) and its MR imaging characteristics are associated with a shorter time-to-progression (TTP) compared with non-gemistocytic grade II astrocytoma (non-GemA).

Materials and methods

We enrolled 78 patients who were followed up more than 5 years (29 pathologically proven GemA and 49 non-GemA) during a 10-year period. Contrast-enhanced T1-weighted, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC), and MR spectroscopy (MRS) and clinical data were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical and MR imaging features were analyzed as possible prognostic factors of high-grade transformation, and multivariate analysis of TTP was performed using Cox proportional modeling.


GemA showed more frequent high-grade features than non-GemA, including diffusion restriction (P < .001), increased choline/creatine (P = .02), and increased choline/NAA ratio (P = .015). Patients with GemA had a significantly shorter median TTP (53.1 vs 68 months; P < .001). A gemistocytic histopathology (hazard ratio = 3.42; P = .015) and low ADC (hazard ratio = 3.61; P = .001) were independently associated with a shorter TTP.


GemA can present with MR imaging findings mimicking high-grade glioma at initial diagnosis and transforms to high-grade disease earlier than non-GemA. Low ADC on DWI might be useful in stratifying the risk of progression in patients with grade II astrocytoma.

Key Points

Gemistocytic grade II astrocytoma (GemA) showed more frequent high-grade features than non-GemA.

Patients with GemA had a significantly shorter median TTP than non-GemA.

Gemistocytic histopathology and low ADC were independently associated with shorter TTP.


Astrocytoma Grade II Gemistocytic astrocytoma Disease progression Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging 



Gemistocytic low-grade astrocytoma


Non-gemistocytic low-grade astrocytoma


Diffusion-weighted imaging


Dynamic susceptibility contrast


MR spectroscopy




Apparent diffusion coefficient


Normalized cerebral blood volume



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Sang Joon Kim. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (grant number: NRF-2014R1A2A2A01004937). No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was waived by the Institutional Review Board. Methodology: retrospective, observational study, performed at one institution.

Supplementary material

330_2016_4649_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyInje University, Busan Paik HospitalBusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of Radiology and Research Institute of RadiologyUniversity of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical CenterSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical CenterSeoulKorea

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