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J Cancer Res Ther. 2019;15(7):1508-1515. doi: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_76_19.

Value of intravoxel incoherent motion magnetic resonance imaging for differentiating metastatic from nonmetastatic mesorectal lymph nodes with different short-axis diameters in rectal cancer.

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Department of Radiology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Yuzhong District, Chongqing, China.



Conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) does not accurately evaluate lymph node (LN) status, which is essential for the treatment and prognosis assessment in patients with rectal cancer.


The aim of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic value of intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) MRI in differentiating metastatic and nonmetastatic mesorectal LNs with different short-axis diameters in rectal cancer patients.

Materials and Methods:

Forty patients (154 LNs) were divided into three groups based on short-axis diameter: 3 mm ≤ × ≤5 mm, 5 mm < × ≤7 mm, and × >7 mm. MRI characteristics and IVIM parameters were compared between the metastatic and nonmetastatic LNs to determine the diagnostic value for discriminating them.


In the 3 mm ≤ × ≤ 5 mm group, mean D values were significantly lower in metastatic than in the nonmetastatic LNs (P < 0.001). In the 5 mm < × ≤7 mm group, mean f values were significantly lower in metastatic than nonmetastatic LNs (P < 0.05). In the × >7 mm group, only the short-axis diameter of metastatic LNs was significantly greater than that of nonmetastatic LNs (P < 0.05). The area under the curve, sensitivity, specificity, and cutoff values were used for differentiating the metastatic from the nonmetastatic LNs.


IVIM parameters can differentiate metastatic from nonmetastatic LNs with smaller short-axis diameters (× ≤7 mm) in rectal cancer, and the short-axis diameter is a significant factor in identifying metastatic and nonmetastatic LNs in larger short-axis diameter groups (× >7 mm).


Intravoxel incoherent motion; magnetic resonance imaging; mesorectal lymph node; rectal cancer

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