MRI patterns of extrapontine lesion extension in diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas

L. Makepeace, M. Scoggins, B. Mitrea, Y. Li, A. Edwards, C. L. Tinkle, S. Hwang, A. Gajjar, Z. Patay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is a devastating childhood cancer that despite being primarily diagnosed by MR imaging alone, lacks robust prognostic imaging features. This study investigated patterns and quantification of extrapontine lesion extensions as potential prognostic imaging biomarkers for survival in children with newly diagnosed diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Volumetric analysis of baseline MR imaging studies was completed in 131 patients with radiographically defined typical diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas. Extrapontine tumor extension was classified according to the direction of extension: Midbrain, medulla oblongata, and right and left middle cerebellar peduncles; various extrapontine lesion extension patterns were evaluated. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate survival differences; linear regression was used to evaluate clinical- radiographic variables prognostic of survival. RESULTS: At least 1 extrapontine lesion extension was observed in 125 patients (95.4%). Of the 11 different extrapontine lesion extension patterns encountered in our cohort, 2 were statistically significant predictors of survival. Any extension into the middle cerebellar peduncles was prognostic of shorter overall survival (P=.01), but extension into both the midbrain and medulla oblongata but without extension into either middle cerebellar peduncle was prognostic of longer overall survival compared with those having no extension (P=.04) or those having any other pattern of extension (P<.001). CONCLUSIONS: Within this large cohort of patients with typical diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas, 2 specific extrapontine lesion extension patterns were associated with a significant overall survival advantage or disadvantage. Our findings may be valuable for risk stratification and radiation therapy planning in future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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