Histogram Analysis of Amide Proton Transfer Imaging to Identify Contrast-enhancing Low-Grade Brain Tumor That Mimics High-Grade Tumor: Increased Accuracy of MR Perfusion

Published Online:https://doi.org/10.1148/radiol.2015142347

The histogram analysis of amide proton transfer imaging provides increased accuracy of MR perfusion imaging for the identification of contrast-enhancing low-grade brain tumor that mimics high-grade tumor, with excellent interobserver agreement.


To determine whether histogram analysis of amide proton transfer (APT) imaging provides increased accuracy of magnetic resonance (MR) perfusion imaging for the identification of contrast material–enhancing low-grade tumor (World Health Organization grades 1 and 2) that mimics high-grade tumor (World Health Organization grades 3 and 4).

Materials and Methods

This retrospective study was approved by the institutional review board. Forty-five patients with pathologically proven, solitary, contrast-enhancing tumors were enrolled in this study. APT-derived signal intensity from the calculated APT asymmetry at the offset frequency of 3.5 ppm and normalized cerebral blood volume (nCBV) were measured on solid portions of the tumor by using a 90% histogram cutoff (denoted as APT90 and nCBV90, respectively). The diagnostic performance of the imaging parameters was determined with leave-one-out cross validation. Interobserver agreement was assessed by using the intraclass correlation coefficient.


APT90 demonstrated a significant difference between contrast-enhancing low-grade and high-grade tumors for both readers (P < .001 for both readers). Compared with nCBV90, adding APT90 significantly improved the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) for the identification of contrast-enhancing low-grade tumor from 0.80 to 0.97 for reader 1 (P = .023) and from 0.82 to 0.97 for reader 2 (P = .035), respectively. By using leave-one-out cross-validation, the cross-validated AUC of the combination of nCBV90 and APT90 was 0.95 for reader 1 and 0.96 for reader 2. The intraclass correlation coefficient for the APT90 calculations was 0.89.


Histogram analysis of APT imaging provided increased accuracy of MR perfusion imaging for the identification of contrast-enhancing low-grade tumor that mimics high-grade tumor.

© RSNA, 2015

Online supplemental material is available for this article.


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Article History

Received October 6, 2014; revision requested November 25; revision received January 3, 2015; accepted January 29; final version accepted February 11.
Published online: Apr 24 2015
Published in print: Oct 2015