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Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 6;6:29146. doi: 10.1038/srep29146.

Dynamic Contrast-enhanced MR Imaging in Renal Cell Carcinoma: Reproducibility of Histogram Analysis on Pharmacokinetic Parameters.

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Department of Radiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853, China.
Lift Science, Advanced Application Team, GE Healthcare China, Beijing, 100176, China.
Lift Science, Advanced Application Team, GE Healthcare China, Shanghai, 201203, China.
Department of Radiology, No.1 Hospital of Zhangjiakou, Hebei, 075000, China.
Medical Imaging Center, Jiayuguan Jiugang Hospital, Jiayuguan, Gansu, 735100, China.
Department of Radiology, General Hospital of Pingdingshan Coal Group, Pingdingshan, Henan, 467000, China.
Department of Urology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853, China.
Department of Pathology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China.


Pharmacokinetic parameters derived from dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) have been increasingly used to evaluate the permeability of tumor vessel. Histogram metrics are a recognized promising method of quantitative MR imaging that has been recently introduced in analysis of DCE-MRI pharmacokinetic parameters in oncology due to tumor heterogeneity. In this study, 21 patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) underwent paired DCE-MRI studies on a 3.0 T MR system. Extended Tofts model and population-based arterial input function were used to calculate kinetic parameters of RCC tumors. Mean value and histogram metrics (Mode, Skewness and Kurtosis) of each pharmacokinetic parameter were generated automatically using ImageJ software. Intra- and inter-observer reproducibility and scan-rescan reproducibility were evaluated using intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) and coefficient of variation (CoV). Our results demonstrated that the histogram method (Mode, Skewness and Kurtosis) was not superior to the conventional Mean value method in reproducibility evaluation on DCE-MRI pharmacokinetic parameters (K( trans) &Ve) in renal cell carcinoma, especially for Skewness and Kurtosis which showed lower intra-, inter-observer and scan-rescan reproducibility than Mean value. Our findings suggest that additional studies are necessary before wide incorporation of histogram metrics in quantitative analysis of DCE-MRI pharmacokinetic parameters.

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