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Radiology. 2001 Sep;220(3):621-30.

Head and neck lesions: characterization with diffusion-weighted echo-planar MR imaging.

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Department of Radiology, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan.



To evaluate whether apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) calculated from diffusion-weighted echo-planar magnetic resonance (MR) images can be used to characterize head and neck lesions.


Diffusion-weighted echo-planar MR imaging was performed with a 1.5-T MR unit in 97 head and neck lesions in 97 patients. Images were obtained with a diffusion-weighted factor, factor b, of 0, 500, and 1,000 sec/mm(2), and an ADC map was constructed. The ADCs of lesions, cerebrospinal fluid, and spinal cord were calculated.


Acceptable images for ADC measurement were obtained in 81 (84%) patients. The mean ADC of malignant lymphomas, (0.66 +/- 0.17[SD]) x 10(-3) mm(2)/sec (n = 13), was significantly smaller (P <.001) than that of carcinomas. The mean ADC of carcinomas, (1.13 +/- 0.43) x 10(-3) mm(2)/sec (n = 36), was significantly smaller (P =.002) than that of benign solid tumors. The mean ADC of benign solid tumors, (1.56 +/- 0.51) x 10(-3) mm(2)/sec (n = 22), was significantly smaller (P =.035) than that of benign cystic lesions, (2.05 +/- 0.62) x 10(-3) mm(2)/sec (n = 10). No significant differences were seen in the mean ADC of cerebrospinal fluid and of spinal cord among four groups of lesions. When an ADC smaller than 1.22 x 10(-3) mm(2)/sec was used for predicting malignancy, the highest accuracy of 86%, with 84% sensitivity and 91% specificity, was obtained.


Measurement of ADCs may be used to characterize head and neck lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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