The role of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in pediatric brain tumors

Peter Kan, James K. Liu, Gary Hedlund, Douglas L. Brockmeyer, Marion L. Walker, John R.W. Kestle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objectives: Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) may enhance the radiographic diagnosis of pediatric brain tumors. This study reviews the DWI properties of pediatric brain tumors at our institution and examines their relationship to tumor grade and type. Materials and methods: The preoperative DWI and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) characteristics of brain tumors in 41 children were compared with histologic diagnosis. Signal characteristics on DWI and ADC maps correlated well with tumor grade. High-grade lesions were hyperintense on DWI and hypointense on ADC maps. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value were 70, 100, 100, and 91%, respectively. Signal characteristics did not differ among different tumors of the same grade. All primitive neuroectodermal tumors showed diffusion restriction whereas none of the ependymomas did. Conclusions: The signal characteristics on DWI and ADC maps appeared to be strongly correlated to grade in pediatric brain tumors and they may assist with preoperative diagnostic predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1435-1439
Number of pages5
JournalChild's Nervous System
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Apparent diffusion coefficient
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Pediatric brain tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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