Background: Patients with chiasmatic-hypothalamic low-grade glioma (CHLGG) have frequent MRIs with gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCA) for disease monitoring. Cumulative gadolinium deposition in the brains of children is a potential concern. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether MRI with GBCA is necessary for determining radiographic tumor progression in children with CHLGG. Methods: Children who were treated for progressive CHLGG from 2005 to 2019 at Texas Children's Cancer Center were identified. Pre- and post-contrast MRI sequences were separately reviewed by one neuroradiologist who was blinded to the clinical course. Three dimensional measurements and tumor characteristics were evaluated. Radiographic progression was defined as a 25% increase in size (product of two largest dimensions) compared with baseline or best response after initiation of therapy. Results: A total of 28 patients with progressive CHLGG were identified with a total of 683 MRIs with GBCA reviewed (mean 24 MRIs/patient; range, 11-43 MRIs). Radiographic progression was observed 92 times, 91 (99%) on noncontrast and 90 (98%) on contrast imaging. Sixty-seven progressions necessitating management changes were identified in all (100%) noncontrast sequences and 66 (99%) contrast sequences. Tumor growth > 2 mm in any dimension was identified in 184/187 (98%) noncontrast and 181/187 (97%) with contrast imaging. Metastatic tumors were better visualized on contrast imaging in 4/7 (57%). Conclusion: MRI without GBCA effectively identifies patients with progressive disease. When imaging children with CHLGG, eliminating GBCA should be considered unless monitoring patients with metastatic disease.
- low-grade glioma
- surveillance imaging
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health