Fractal analysis of the susceptibility weighted imaging patterns in malignant brain tumors during antiangiogenic treatment

Technical report on four cases serially imaged by 7 T magnetic resonance during a period of four weeks

Antonio Di Ieva*, Christian Matula, Fabio Grizzi, Günther Grabner, Siegfried Trattnig, Manfred Tschabitscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The need for new and objective indexes for the neuroradiologic follow-up of brain tumors and for monitoring the effects of antiangiogenic strategies in vivo led us to perform a technical study on four patients who received computerized analysis of tumor-associated vasculature with ultra-high-field (7 T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The image analysis involved the application of susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) to evaluate vascular structures. Methods: Four patients affected by recurrent malignant brain tumors were enrolled in the present study. After the first 7-T SWI MRI procedure, the patients underwent antiangiogenic treatment with bevacizumab. The imaging was repeated every 2 weeks for a period of 4 weeks. The SWI patterns visualized in the three MRI temporal sequences were analyzed by means of a computer-aided fractal-based method to objectively quantify their geometric complexity. Results: In two clinically deteriorating patients we found an increase of the geometric complexity of the space-filling properties of the SWI patterns over time despite the antiangiogenic treatment. In one patient, who showed improvement with the therapy, the fractal dimension of the intratumoral structure decreased, whereas in the fourth patient, no differences were found. Conclusions: The qualitative changes of the intratumoral SWI patterns during a period of 4 weeks were quantified with the fractal dimension. Because SWI patterns are also related to the presence of vascular structures, the quantification of their space-filling properties with fractal dimension seemed to be a valid tool for the in vivo neuroradiologic follow-up of brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785.e11–785.e21
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • 7-Tesla MRI
  • Angiogenesis
  • Antiangiogenic treatment
  • Brain tumors
  • Fractal analysis
  • Fractal dimension
  • Glioblastoma multiforme
  • SWI
  • Ultra-high-field MRI

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