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Eur J Radiol. 2012 Apr;81(4):784-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2011.01.089. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Dynamic contrast enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) for differential diagnosis in head and neck cancers.

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  • 1Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Prince of Wales Hospital, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR.



To examine the potential of dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) for differential diagnosis of head and neck cancer.


DCE-MRI was performed in 26 patients with untreated squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 28 undifferentiated carcinoma (UD) and 8 lymphoma. DCE-MRI was analyzed with the pharmacokinetic model proposed by Tofts and Kermode to produce the three DCE parameters: k(trans), v(e) and v(p). Areas under the curve (AUC) at the initial 60 and 90s (AUC60 and AUC90) were also recorded. Histogram analysis was conducted to obtain the mean, 25%, 50%, 75% and 95% percentile values and the Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare the DCE parameters between the three groups of cancer.


k(trans), AUC60 and AUC90 showed significant differences (p<0.01) between UD/SCC and UD/lymphoma, but not between SCC/lymphoma. The mean AUC90 demonstrated the highest accuracy of 78% (sensitivity of 68% and specificity of 88%) for distinguishing UD and SCC, and the 75% percentile AUC90 provided the highest accuracy of 97% (sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 88.5%) for distinguishing UD and lymphoma.


There are significant differences in the DCE parameters which show the potential for distinguishing UD from SCC or lymphoma.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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