Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be a successful technology for understanding the severity of meningioma, according to a study recently published in Clinical Radiology.

Determining if meningioma is high grade or low grade can help physicians decide how the tumor should be managed. Researchers from the American University Beirut Medical Center ventured to find out if MRI could help identify the meningioma grade before it’s removed from the patient, making surgery easier and safer.

The researchers analyzed scans of 71 patients who had undergone surgeries to remove intracranial meningiomas at American University between 2008 and 2017. They were able to compare features on both quantitative and qualitative MRI and CT scans as a way to categorize benign from malignant meningiomas. They found that MRI “showed great promise” for identifying meningioma, scoring a specificity rate of 79 percent, negative predictive value of 92 percent, positive predictive value of seven percent and a sensitivity rate of 20 percent.

Scan evaluations showed several MRI features were associated with high-grade meningiomas, among those features include: tumor size and volume, heterogenous enhancement, presence of intra-tumoral necrosis and brain invasion. 

“The results of the present study showed that the most significant findings to differentiate between the two groups included a heterogeneous pattern of enhancement, as well as the presence of intra-tumoral cystic change or necrosis; both more described in GP2 meningiomas. This can further explain that both imaging features are correlated,” the authors wrote.