Intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging for discrimination of benign and malignant retropharyngeal nodes
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Anatomical imaging criteria for the diagnosis of malignant head and neck nodes may not always be reliable. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic value of conventional diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) DWI in discriminating benign and malignant metastatic retropharyngeal nodes (RPNs).

IVIM DWI using 14 b-values was performed on RPNs of 30 patients with newly diagnosed metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and 30 patients with elevated plasma Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-DNA without NPC who were part of an EBV-based NPC screening program. Histogram measurements of the two groups were compared for pure diffusion coefficient (D), pseudo-diffusion coefficient (D*), perfusion volume fraction (f) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) using the Mann-Whitney U test. Area under the curves (AUCs) of significant measurements were calculated from receiver-operating characteristics analysis and compared using the DeLong test.

Compared with metastatic RPNs, benign RPNs had lower ADCmean (0.73 vs 0.82 × 10−3 mm2/s) and Dmean (0.60 vs 0.71 × 10−3 mm2/s) and a higher D*mean (35.21 vs 28.66 × 10−3 mm2/s) (all p < 0.05). There was no difference in the f measurements between the two groups (p = 0.204 to 0.301). Dmean achieved the highest AUC of 0.800, but this was not statistically better than the AUCs of the other parameters (p = 0.148 to 0.991).

Benign RPNs in patients with EBV-DNA showed greater restriction of diffusion compared with malignant metastatic RPNs from NPC. IVIM did not show a significant advantage over conventional DWI in discriminating benign and malignant nodes.
Acceptance Date08/07/2020
All Author(s) ListSo TY, Ai QH, Lam WKJ, Qamar S, Poon DMC, Hui EP, Mo FKF, Chan KCA, King AD
Journal nameNeuroradiology
Detailed descriptionOnline ahead of print
PublisherSpringer Verlag
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsBenign and malignant, Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, Epstein-Barr virus, Head and neck, Lymph nodes, Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Retropharyngeal node

Last updated on 2021-18-09 at 00:04