Preoperative and postoperative high angular resolution diffusion imaging tractography of cerebellar pathways in posterior fossa tumors

Ortug A., YÜZBAŞIOĞLU N., AKALAN N., Levman J., Takahashi E.

Clinical Anatomy, vol.35, no.8, pp.1085-1099, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/ca.23914
  • Journal Name: Clinical Anatomy
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1085-1099
  • Keywords: cerebellum, diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, infratentorial neoplasms
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to utilize high angular resolution diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (HARDI) tractography in the mapping of the pathways of the cerebellum associated with posterior fossa tumors (infratentorial neoplasms) and to determine whether it is useful for preoperative and postoperative evaluation. Retrospective data from 30 patients (age 2–16 yr) with posterior fossa tumor (17 low grade, 13 high grade) and 30 age-sex-matched healthy controls were used. Structural and diffusion-weighted images were collected at a 3-tesla scanner. Tractography was performed using Diffusion Toolkit software, Q-ball model, FACT algorithm, and angle threshold of 45 degrees. Manually assessed regions of interest were placed to identify reconstructed fiber pathways passing through the superior, medial, and inferior cerebellar peduncles for the preoperative, postoperative, and healthy control groups. Fractional anisotropy (FA), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and track volume measures were obtained and analyzed. Statistically significant differences were found between the preop/postop, preop/control, and postop/control comparisons for the volume of the tracts in both groups. Displacement and disruption of the pathways seemed to differ in relation to the severity of the tumor. The loss of pathways after the operation was associated with selective resection during surgery due to tumor infiltration. There were no FA differences but significantly higher ADC in low-grade tumors, and no difference in both FA and ADC in high-grade tumors. The effects of posterior fossa tumors on cerebellar peduncles and reconstructed pathways were successfully evaluated by HARDI tractography. The technique appears to be useful not only for preoperative but also for postoperative evaluation.