Whole-lesion histogram analysis metrics of the apparent diffusion coefficient: a correlation study with histological grade of hepatocellular carcinoma
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The study evaluated the relationship between the histological grade of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the histogram-derived parameters of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) obtained from the whole-lesion assessment of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the liver.
A total of 51 patients were included. The parameters were correlated with the Edmondson-Steiner grades by using the Spearman correlation coefficient (ρ). The differences of ADC parameters between different tumor histological grades were compared using the Mann–Whitney U test. The extent to which each parameter aided in differentiating tumors with poor performance (III, IV) and fair performance (I, II) was assessed by using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (Az).
The 25th percentile ADC exhibits the most negative correlation with histological grade (ρ = − 0.397), followed by the 30th percentile ADC (ρ = − 0.395), the minimum ADC value (ρ = − 0.390) and the 20th percentile ADC (ρ = − 0.385), whereas the minimum ADC value yielded the highest Az (0.763) in the discrimination of tumor foci with poor differentiation from fairly differentiated HCCs. The minimum ADC of 4.15 × 10−3 mm2/s or lower was considered to indicate poorly differentiated performance, and the corresponding sensitivity and specificity were 66.7 and 90.9%, respectively.
The 25th percentile ADC showed a stronger correlation with the histological grade of HCC than other ADC parameters, and the minimum ADC value might be an optimal metric for determining poor and fair differentiations of HCC in DWI.
KeywordsHepatocellular carcinoma Diffusion-weighted imaging ADC histogram Histological differentiation
This study was financially supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 561219012).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts to disclose.
Formal consent is not required for this type of study.
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