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Eur Radiol. 2010 Apr;20(4):807-15. doi: 10.1007/s00330-009-1629-6. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Usefulness of diffusion-weighted MR imaging in the evaluation of pulmonary lesions.

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Department of Radiology, General Hospital of Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China.



The role of diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DWI) in the differential diagnosis of pulmonary malignant tumours and solid benign lesions was investigated.


Sixty-two patients with 66 lesions underwent conventional MRI and DWI (diffusion factor of 0 and 500 s/mm(2)) examinations with 1.5-T MRI. The signal intensity of DWI images was observed and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of the lesions were measured. Statistical analyses were performed with the independent samples t test, Pearson's chi-square test and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.


The signal intensities of pulmonary malignant tumours and solid benign lesions were not significantly different, but the ADC value of benign lesions was statistically higher than that of malignant tumours (p = 0.001). By ROC analysis, the optimal threshold of ADC was 1.400 x 10(-3) mm(2)/s and the sensitivity and specificity were 83.3% and 74.1%, respectively. There were statistical differences between small cell carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small cell carcinoma (NSCLC) as well; the former was lower than the latter (p = 0.007).


Our data indicate that quantitative analysis of ADC values may help diagnose or distinguish pulmonary lesions, and it also provides a promising method for characterising the pulmonary masses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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