Peri-ictal pseudoprogression in patients with brain tumor

S Rheims, D Ricard, Martin van den Bent, L Taillandier, V Bourg, V Desestret, S Cartalat-Carel, M Hermier, A Monjour, JY Delattre, M Sanson, J Honnorat, F Ducray

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Recent advances in the treatment of malignant gliomas have highlighted the fact that the appearance of new contrast-enhancing lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is not always indicative of tumor recurrence. It has been suggested that transient seizure-related MRI changes could mimic disease progression (peri-ictal pseudoprogression [PIPG]). However, the clinical and MRI features associated with this situation have not been well described. Here, we consulted the databases of 6 institutions to identify patients with brain tumor who presented during the follow-up period transient MRI lesions wrongly suggesting tumor progression in a context of epileptic seizures. Ten patients were identified. All patients but 1 were long-term survivors who had initially been treated with radiotherapy. The PIPG episode occurred after a median interval of 11 years after radiotherapy. MRI features were highly similar across patients and consisted of transient focal cortical and/or leptomeningeal enhancing lesions that erroneously suggested tumor progression. All patients improved after adjustment of their antiepileptic drugs and transient oral corticosteroids, and MRI findings were normalized 3 months after the PIPG episode. Two patients demonstrated several seizure relapses with the same clinicoradiological pattern. After a median follow-up period of 3.5 years after the initial PIPG episode, only 1 patient presented with a tumor recurrence. In conclusion, in patients with brain tumor, especially in long-term survivors of radiotherapy, the appearance of new cortical and/or leptomeningeal contrast-enhancing lesions in a context of frequent seizures should raise the suspicion of PIPG. This phenomenon is important to recognize in order to avoid futile therapeutic escalation.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)775-782
Number of pages8
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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