Send to

Choose Destination
Radiology. 2008 Mar;246(3):812-22. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2463070432. Epub 2008 Jan 25.

Focal liver lesion detection and characterization with diffusion-weighted MR imaging: comparison with standard breath-hold T2-weighted imaging.

Author information

Department of Radiology, New York University Medical Center, 530 First Ave, MRI, New York, NY 10016, USA.



To retrospectively compare diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with standard breath-hold T2-weighted MR imaging for focal liver lesion (FLL) detection and characterization, by using consensus evaluation and other findings as the reference standard.


Approval for this retrospective HIPAA-compliant study was obtained from the institutional review board; informed consent was waived. Fifty-three consecutive patients (30 men, 23 women; mean age, 60.7 years) with at least one FLL of 1 cm or greater in diameter were evaluated. Two independent observers reviewed DW (b values of 0, 50, and 500 sec/mm(2)) and T2-weighted images for FLL detection and characterization. Reference standard for diagnosis was obtained from consensus review by the two observers of DW, T2-weighted, and dynamic contrast material-enhanced images, pathologic data, and follow-up imaging results. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) was measured for FLLs identified at consensus review. DW and T2-weighted images were compared for FLL detection and characterization by using a binary logistic regression model. Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were conducted to evaluate the utility of ADC for diagnosis of malignancy.


Two hundred eleven FLLs (136 malignant, 75 benign) were detected at consensus review. Overall detection rate (averaged for two observers) was significantly higher for DW (87.7%) versus T2-weighted (70.1%) imaging (P < .001). FLL characterization was not significantly different between DW (89.1%) and T2-weighted (86.8%) imaging (P = .51). ADCs of malignant FLLs were significantly lower than those of benign FLLs (P < .001). The area under the curve for diagnosis of malignancy was 0.839, with sensitivity of 74.2%, specificity of 77.3%, positive predictive value of 85.5%, negative predictive value of 62.3%, and accuracy of 75.3%, by using a threshold ADC of less than 1.60 x 10(-3) mm(2)/sec.


DW MR imaging was better than standard breath-hold T2-weighted imaging for FLL detection and was equal to breath-hold T2-weighted imaging for FLL characterization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center