Diagnostic performance of DSC perfusion MRI to distinguish tumor progression and treatment-related changes: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Rongwei Fu, Laszlo Szidonya, Ramon F. Barajas, Prakash Ambady, Csanad Varallyay, Edward A. Neuwelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: In patients with high-grade glioma (HGG), true disease progression and treatment-related changes often appear similar on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), making it challenging to evaluate therapeutic response. Dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI has been extensively studied to differentiate between disease progression and treatment-related changes. This systematic review evaluated and synthesized the evidence for using DSC MRI to distinguish true progression from treatment-related changes. Methods: We searched Ovid MEDLINE and the Ovid MEDLINE in-process file (January 2005-October 2019) and the reference lists. Studies on test performance of DSC MRI using relative cerebral blood volume in HGG patients were included. One investigator abstracted data, and a second investigator confirmed them; two investigators independently assessed study quality. Meta-analyses were conducted to quantitatively synthesize area under the receiver operating curve (AUROC), sensitivity, and specificity. Results: We screened 1177 citations and included 28 studies with 638 patients with true tumor progression, and 430 patients with treatment-related changes. Nineteen studies reported AUROC and the combined AUROC is 0.85 (95% CI, 0.81-0.90). All studies contributed data for sensitivity and specificity, and the pooled sensitivity and specificity are 0.84 (95% CI, 0.80-0.88), and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.72-0.83). Extensive subgroup analyses based on study, treatment, and imaging characteristics generally showed similar results. Conclusions: There is moderate strength of evidence that relative cerebral blood volume obtained from DSC imaging demonstrated "excellent"ability to discriminate true tumor progression from treatment-related changes, with robust sensitivity and specificity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbervdac027
JournalNeuro-Oncology Advances
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • diagnostic performance
  • dynamic susceptibility contrast (DSC) MRI
  • high-grade glioma
  • meta-analysis
  • treatment-related changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Surgery


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