Background: We investigated the ability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to distinguish primary central nervous system vasculitis (PCNSV) from glioblastoma to facilitate the development of an appropriate treatment for PCNSV. Methods: We enrolled patients who were treated for PCNSV or glioblastoma at our center between January 2007 and August 2018. We compared the diagnoses of the 2 conditions by retrospectively reviewing patients’ data for contrast-enhanced MRI, perfusion MRI, flow-sensitive black-blood (FSBB) imaging, and 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Results: We evaluated 108 patients (6 PCNSV; 102 glioblastoma). We found a statistically significant correlation between diagnosis and the contrast pattern on MRI. Perivascular enhancement was observed in all cases of PCNSV as follows: ring-like, homogeneous, and irregular patterns were observed in 53 (60%), 18 (20%), and 17 (19%) cases of glioblastoma, respectively. We identified a statistically significant correlation between diagnosis and cerebral blood volume (CBV) in 3 patients with PCNSV who underwent perfusion MRI; and all had low CBVs. Among the 55 patients with glioblastoma who underwent perfusion MRI, low and high CBVs were detected in 3 and 52 patients, respectively. There was no significant correlation between diagnosis and FSBB findings. Evaluation of 1H-MRS data showed statistically significant differences between PCNSV and glioblastoma as functions of neuronal amino acid levels on long echo time MRS, with a slightly different amino acid profile, including glutamine + glutamate on short echo time MRS. Conclusions: Contrast-enhanced MRI, perfusion MRI, and quantitative analysis of 1H-MRS are valuable techniques for distinguishing PCNSV from glioblastoma before surgery.
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