Apparent diffusion coefficient in glioblastoma with PNET-like components, a GBM variant

Saad Ali, Nancy M. Joseph, Arie Perry, Ramon F. Barajas, Soonmee Cha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Glioblastoma (GBM) with primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET)-like (GBM-PNET) components is a rare variant of GBM. Recent studies describe PNET-like clinical behavior in these patients-with significantly increased propensity for CSF dissemination and a benefit of "PNET-like" chemotherapy. The imaging appearance of GBM-PNET is not well-described and given areas of marked cellularity in the PNET components one might expect significantly reduced diffusion on MRI. The purpose of this study is to quantitatively evaluate the diffusion characteristics in GBM-PNET and compare them with conventional GBMs. Nine patients with surgical specimens yielding GBM-PNET were identified from the UCSF Pathology files. MR images of these patients were reviewed retrospectively. DWI (diffusion-weighted imaging) sequences were analyzed with multiple regions of interests placed within the tumor, and ADC (apparent diffusion coefficient) values were measured. Results were compared to previously published ADC values in pathology-proven conventional GBM cases from our institution. Reduced ADC was seen in GBM-PNET (mean 581 × 10-6 mm2/s, range 338-817) compared to previously published mean of 1,030 × 10-6 mm2/s in the enhancing components of conventional GBMs. We report substantially reduced ADC values in GBM-PNETs compared to conventional GBMs. If demonstrated in a larger sample, when areas of marked reduced diffusion are seen in a suspected GBM, MRI may appropriately direct tissue sampling and can advocate a thorough search for PNET-like components on histopathology. These patients may have a higher chance of developing CSF dissemination and may benefit from "PNET-like" platinum-based chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-360
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuro-Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Diffusion weighted MRI
  • Glioblastoma
  • PNET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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