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fMRI predicts benign brain tumors that turn malignant

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Perfusion-weighted MRI can anticipate the transformation of low-grade gliomas into malignant tumors up to a year earlier than other imaging tests, according to researchers. The technique could help select patients who may benefit from more aggressive treatment.

Perfusion-weighted MRI can anticipate the transformation of low-grade gliomas into malignant tumors up to a year earlier than other imaging tests, according to researchers. The technique could help select patients who may benefit from more aggressive treatment.

Adam Waldman, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Charing Cross Hospital in London prospectively enrolled 13 patients with low-grade gliomas for two years ending in August 2002. Patients underwent perfusion- and contrast-enhanced MRI every six months for up to three years to check for tumor malignancy. Investigators found that increases in blood volume by perfusion MRI suggested malignancy a year or more before it could be observed by contrast MR. They published their findings in the April issue of Radiology.

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