Discriminating MGMT promoter methylation status in patients with glioblastoma employing amide proton transfer-weighted MRI metrics

Shanshan Jiang, Qihong Rui, Yu Wang, Hye Young Heo, Tianyu Zou, Hao Yu, Yi Zhang, Xianlong Wang, Yongxing Du, Xinrui Wen, Fangyao Chen, Jihong Wang, Charles G Eberhart, Jinyuan Zhou, Zhibo Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: To explore the feasibility of using amide proton transfer-weighted (APTw) MRI metrics as surrogate biomarkers to identify the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter methylation status in glioblastoma (GBM). Methods: Eighteen newly diagnosed GBM patients, who were previously scanned at 3T and had a confirmed MGMT methylation status, were retrospectively analysed. For each case, a histogram analysis in the tumour mass was performed to evaluate several quantitative APTw MRI metrics. The Mann-Whitney test was used to evaluate the difference in APTw parameters between MGMT methylated and unmethylated GBMs, and the receiver-operator-characteristic analysis was further used to assess diagnostic performance. Results: Ten GBMs were found to harbour a methylated MGMT promoter, and eight GBMs were unmethylated. The mean, variance, 50th percentile, 90th percentile and Width10-90 APTw values were significantly higher in the MGMT unmethylated GBMs than in the MGMT methylated GBMs, with areas under the receiver-operator-characteristic curves of 0.825, 0.837, 0.850, 0856 and 0.763, respectively, for the discrimination of MGMT promoter methylation status. Conclusions: APTw signal metrics have the potential to serve as valuable imaging biomarkers for identifying MGMT methylation status in the GBM population. Key Points: • APTw-MRI is applied to predict MGMT promoter methylation status in GBMs.• GBMs with unmethylated MGMT promoter present higher APTw-MRI than methylated GBMs.• Multiple APTw histogram metrics can identify MGMT methylation status.• Mean APTw values showed the highest diagnostic accuracy (AUC = 0.825).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Radiology
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 12 2017


  • Amide proton transfer-weighted imaging
  • Glioblastoma
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Methylation
  • O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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