MR elastography analysis of glioma stiffness and IDH1-mutation status

K. M. Pepin, K. P. McGee, A. Arani, D. S. Lake, K. J. Glaser, A. Manduca, I. F. Parney, R. L. Ehman, J. Huston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose: Our aim was to noninvasively evaluate gliomas with MR elastography to characterize the relationship of tumor stiffness with tumor grade and mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Tumor stiffness properties were prospectively quantified in 18 patients (mean age, 42 years; 6 women) with histologically proved gliomas using MR elastography from 2014 to 2016. Images were acquired on a 3T MR imaging unit with a vibration frequency of 60 Hz. Tumor stiffness was compared with unaffected contralateral white matter, across tumor grade, and by IDH1-mutation status. The performance of the use of tumor stiffness to predict tumor grade and IDH1 mutation was evaluated with the Wilcoxon rank sum, 1-way ANOVA, and Tukey-Kramer tests. RESULTS: Gliomas were softer than healthy brain parenchyma, 2.2 kPa compared with 3.3 kPa (P.001), with grade IV tumors softer than grade II. Tumors with an IDH1 mutation were significantly stiffer than those with wild type IDH1, 2.5 kPa versus 1.6 kPa, respectively (P.007). CONCLUSIONS: MR elastography demonstrated that not only were gliomas softer than normal brain but the degree of softening was directly correlated with tumor grade and IDH1-mutation status. Noninvasive determination of tumor grade and IDH1 mutation may result in improved stratification of patients for different treatment options and the evaluation of novel therapeutics. This work reports on the emerging field of "mechanogenomics": The identification of genetic features such as IDH1 mutation using intrinsic biomechanical information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology


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