Applying amide proton transfer-weighted MRI to distinguish pseudoprogression from true progression in malignant gliomas

Bo Ma, Jaishri O. Blakeley, Xiaohua Hong, Hongyan Zhang, Shanshan Jiang, Lindsay Blair, Yi Zhang, Hye Young Heo, Mingzhi Zhang, Peter C.M. van Zijl, Jinyuan Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess amide proton transfer-weighted (APTW) imaging features in patients with malignant gliomas after chemoradiation and the diagnostic performance of APT imaging for distinguishing true progression from pseudoprogression. Materials and Methods: After approval by the Institutional Review Board, 32 patients with clinically suspected tumor progression in the first 3 months after chemoradiation were enrolled and scanned at 3T. Longitudinal routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) changes and medical records were assessed to confirm true progression versus pseudoprogression. True progression was defined as lesions progressing on serial imaging over 6 months, and pseudoprogression was defined as lesions stabilizing or regressing without intervention. The APTWmean and APTWmax signals were obtained from three to five regions of interests for each patient and compared between the true progression and pseudoprogression groups. The diagnostic performance was assessed with receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Results: The true progression was associated with APTW hyperintensity (APTWmean = 2.75% ± 0.42%), while pseudoprogression was associated with APTW isointensity to mild hyperintensity (APTWmean = 1.56% ± 0.42%). The APTW signal intensities were significantly higher in the true progression group (n = 20) than in the pseudoprogression group (P < 0.001; n = 12). The cutoff APTWmean and APTWmax intensity values to distinguish between true progression and pseudoprogression were 2.42% (with a sensitivity of 85.0% and a specificity of 100%) and 2.54% (with a sensitivity of 95.0% and a specificity of 91.7%), respectively. Conclusion: The APTW-MRI signal is a valuable imaging biomarker for distinguishing pseudoprogression from true progression in glioma patients. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016;44:456–462.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-462
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • MRI
  • amide proton transfer
  • glioma
  • pseudoprogression
  • treatment effect
  • true progression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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