Child's Nervous System

, Volume 22, Issue 11, pp 1435–1439 | Cite as

The role of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in pediatric brain tumors

  • Peter Kan
  • James K. Liu
  • Gary Hedlund
  • Douglas L. Brockmeyer
  • Marion L. Walker
  • John R. W. Kestle
Original Paper



Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) may enhance the radiographic diagnosis of pediatric brain tumors. This study reviews the DWI properties of pediatric brain tumors at our institution and examines their relationship to tumor grade and type.

Materials and methods

The preoperative DWI and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) characteristics of brain tumors in 41 children were compared with histologic diagnosis. Signal characteristics on DWI and ADC maps correlated well with tumor grade. High-grade lesions were hyperintense on DWI and hypointense on ADC maps. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 70, 100, 100, and 91%, respectively. Signal characteristics did not differ among different tumors of the same grade. All primitive neuroectodermal tumors showed diffusion restriction whereas none of the ependymomas did.


The signal characteristics on DWI and ADC maps appeared to be strongly correlated to grade in pediatric brain tumors and they may assist with preoperative diagnostic predictions.


Pediatric brain tumors Magnetic resonance imaging Diffusion-weighted imaging Apparent diffusion coefficient 



The authors thank Kristin Kraus for her editorial assistance in preparing this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Kan
    • 1
  • James K. Liu
    • 1
  • Gary Hedlund
    • 2
  • Douglas L. Brockmeyer
    • 1
  • Marion L. Walker
    • 1
  • John R. W. Kestle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Primary Children’s Medical CenterUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Primary Children’s Medical CenterUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt LakeUSA

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