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Qualitative MR features to identify non-enhancing tumors within glioblastoma’s T2-FLAIR hyperintense lesions

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To identify qualitative MRI features of non-(contrast)-enhancing tumor (nCET) in glioblastoma’s T2-FLAIR hyperintense lesion.


Thirty-three histologically confirmed glioblastoma patients whose T1-, T2- and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted MRI and 11C-methionine positron emission tomography (Met-PET) were available were included in this study. Met-PET was utilized as a surrogate for tumor burden. Imaging features for identifying nCET were searched by qualitative examination of 156 targets. A new scoring system to identify nCET was established and validated by two independent observers.


Three imaging features were found helpful for identifying nCET; “Bulky gray matter involvement”, “Around the rim of contrast-enhancement (Around-rim),” and “High-intensity on T1WI and low-intensity on T2WI (HighT1LowT2)” resulting in an nCET score = 2 × Bulky gray matter involvement – 2 × Around-rim + HighT1LowT2 + 2. The nCET score’s classification performances of two independent observers measured by AUC were 0.78 and 0.80, with sensitivities and specificities using a threshold of four being 0.443 and 0.771, and 0.916 and 0.768, respectively. The weighted kappa coefficient for the nCET score was 0.946.


The current investigation demonstrated that qualitative assessments of glioblastoma’s MRI might help identify nCET in T2/FLAIR high-intensity lesions. The novel nCET score is expected to aid in expanding treatment targets within the T2/FLAIR high-intensity lesions.

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Data availability

The data generated and analyzed during the current study are not publicly available for legal/ethical reasons but are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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Authors and Affiliations



M.S., A.A., N.K., E.S., and K.N. acquired data. S.Y., Y.O., H.A., T.S., and M.K. analyzed the data. H.K. supervised the research project. M.K conceptualized the research. All authors reviewed the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Manabu Kinoshita.

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Yamamoto, S., Okita, Y., Arita, H. et al. Qualitative MR features to identify non-enhancing tumors within glioblastoma’s T2-FLAIR hyperintense lesions. J Neurooncol 165, 251–259 (2023).

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