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Oncotarget. 2017 Jul 18;8(29):47230-47238. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.17591.

Histogram analysis of diffusion kurtosis imaging of nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Correlation between quantitative parameters and clinical stage.

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Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.



To evaluate the correlation between histogram parameters derived from diffusion-kurtosis (DK) imaging and the clinical stage of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).


High T-stage (T3/4) NPC showed significantly higher Kapp-mean (P = 0.018), Kapp-median (P = 0.029) and Kapp-90th (P = 0.003) than low T-stage (T1/2) NPC. High N-stage NPC (N2/3) showed significantly lower Dapp-mean (P = 0.002), Dapp-median (P = 0.002) and Dapp-10th (P < 0.001) than low N-stage NPC (N0/1). High AJCC-stage NPC (III/IV) showed significantly lower Dapp-10th (P = 0.038) than low AJCC-stage NPC (I/II). ROC analyses indicated that Kapp-90th was optimal for predicting high T-stage (AUC, 0.759; sensitivity, 0.842; specificity, 0.607), while Dapp-10th was best for predicting high N- and AJCC-stage (N-stage, AUC, 0.841; sensitivity, 0.875; specificity, 0.807; AJCC-stage, AUC, 0.671; sensitivity, 0.800; specificity, 0.588).


DK imaging data of forty-seven consecutive NPC patients were retrospectively analyzed. Apparent diffusion for Gaussian distribution (Dapp) and apparent kurtosis coefficient (Kapp) were generated using diffusion-kurtosis model. Histogram parameters, including mean, median, 10th, 90th percentiles, skewness and kurtosis of Dapp and Kapp were calculated. Patients were divided into low and high T, N and clinical stage based on American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system. Differences of histogram parameters between low and high T, N and AJCC stages were compared using t test. Multiple receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to determine and compare the value of significant parameters in predicting high T, N and AJCC stage, respectively.


DK imaging-derived parameters correlated well with clinical stage of NPC, therefore could serve as an adjunctive imaging technique for evaluating NPC.


clinical stage; diffusion kurtosis imaging; histogram; magnetic resonance imaging; nasopharyngeal carcinoma

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