BACKGROUND: Primary tumor volume is as an important and independent prognostic factor in Ewing sarcoma. However, the observer variability of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based primary tumor volume measurements in newly diagnosed Ewing sarcoma has never been investigated. Furthermore, it is unclear how MRI-based volume measurements compare to 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET)-based volume measurements. This study aimed to determine the observer variability of simplified MRI-based primary tumor volume measurements in newly diagnosed treatment-naive Ewing sarcoma and to compare them to the actual primary tumor volume at MRI and the FDG-PET-based metabolically active tumor volume (MATV).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-nine newly diagnosed Ewing sarcoma patients with pretreatment MRI (of whom 11 also underwent FDG-PET) were included. Both exact and dichotomized (according to the proposed threshold of 200 mL) primary tumor volume measurements were analyzed.
RESULTS: Mean inter- and intraobserver differences of MRI-based simplified tumor volume ± limits of agreement varied between 15-42 ± 155-204 mL and between 9-16 ± 64-250 mL, respectively. Inter- and intraobserver agreements of dichotomized MRI-based simplified tumor volume measurements was very good (κ = 0.827-1.000). Mean difference between simplified and actual tumor volumes at MRI ± limits of agreement was 60 ± 381 mL. Agreement between dichotomized simplified and actual tumor volumes at MRI was very good (κ = 0.839). Mean difference between MRI-based simplified tumor volume and MATV ± limits of agreement was 181 ± 549 mL and almost significantly different (p = .0581). Agreement between dichotomized MRI-based simplified tumor volume and MATV was moderate (κ = 0.560).
CONCLUSIONS: Exact MRI-based simplified primary tumor volume measurements in Ewing sarcoma suffer from considerable observer variability, but observer agreement of dichotomized measurements (≤200 mL vs. >200 mL) is very good and generally matches MRI-based actual volume measurements. MRI-based primary tumor volume measurements poorly-moderately agree with and tend to be lower than the MATV.