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Diffusion Imaging in Brain Tumors 

Diffusion Imaging in Brain Tumors
Chapter:
Diffusion Imaging in Brain Tumors
Author(s):

Aaron S. Field

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195369779.003.0033
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date: 09 December 2019

A wide variety of tumors and other space-occupying masses are encountered in clinical imaging, including cysts, abscesses, hematomas, and neoplasms of myriad cell types and grades. The ability of diffusion MRI to probe tissue microstructure provides a unique opportunity to characterize noninvasively such masses, substantially extending the range of information available from other imaging methods. With emphasis on neuroimaging, this chapter reviews the fundamental mechanisms by which diffusion (including diffusion tensor) imaging can address problems of tissue characterization in patients with brain tumors and other intracranial masses. It examines the role of diffusion imaging in differential diagnosis for the most common mass lesions, including cyst, abscess, hematoma, meningioma, lymphoma, glioma, and pediatric tumors of the posterior fossa. For the infiltrating gliomas, the use of diffusion tensor imaging to better define tumor margins is addressed. The chapter also reviews the role of diffusion imaging in evaluating brain tumor treatment-related effects, including cytoreductive therapeutic response, radiation necrosis, and treatment-related white matter injury.

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