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Acta Radiol. 2016 Nov;57(11):1310-1317. doi: 10.1177/0284185115586091. Epub 2016 Jul 20.

Use of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging to distinguish between lung cancer and focal inflammatory lesions: a comparison of intravoxel incoherent motion derived parameters and apparent diffusion coefficient.

Deng Y1,2,3, Li X3, Lei Y3, Liang C2, Liu Z2.

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1 Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, PR China.
2 Department of Radiology, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangzhou, PR China.
3 Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, PR China.


Background Using imaging techniques to diagnose malignant and inflammatory lesions in the lung can be challenging. Purpose To compare intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis in their ability to discriminate lung cancer from focal inflammatory lung lesions. Material and Methods Thirty-eight patients with lung masses were included: 30 lung cancers and eight inflammatory lesions. Patients were imaged with 3.0T MRI diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) using 10 b values (range, 0-1000 s/mm2). Tissue diffusivity ( D), pseudo-diffusion coefficient ( D*), and perfusion fraction ( f) were calculated using segmented biexponential analysis. ADC (total) was calculated with monoexponential fitting of the DWI data. D, D*, f, and ADC were compared between lung cancer and inflammatory lung lesions. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was performed for all DWI parameters. Results The ADC was significantly higher for inflammatory lesions than for lung cancer ([1.21 ± 0.20] × 10-3 mm2/s vs. [0.97 ± 0.15] × 10-3 mm2/s; P = 0.004). By IVIM, f was found to be significantly higher in inflammatory lesions than lung cancer ([46.10 ± 12.92] % vs. [29.29 ± 10.89] %; P = 0.005). There was no difference in D and D* between lung cancer and inflammatory lesions ( P = 0.747 and 0.124, respectively). f showed comparable diagnostic performance with ADC in differentiating lung cancer from inflammatory lung lesions, with areas under the curve of 0.833 and 0.826, sensitivity 80.0% and 73.3%, and specificity 75.0% and 87.5%, respectively. Conclusion The IVIM parameter f value provides comparable diagnostic performance with ADC and could be used as a surrogate marker for differentiating lung cancer from inflammatory lesions.


Intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM); diffusion magnetic resonance imaging; inflammation; lung neoplasms

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