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Apparent diffusion coefficient of hepatocellular carcinoma on diffusion-weighted imaging: Histopathologic tumor grade versus arterial vascularity during dynamic magnetic resonance imaging

 In Kyung Park  ;  Jeong-Sik Yu  ;  Eun-Suk Cho  ;  Joo Hee Kim  ;  Jae-Joon Chung 
 PLOS ONE, Vol.13(5) : e0197070, 2018 
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OBJECTIVES: Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) has been suggested to reflect the tumor grades of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs); i.e., it can be used as a biomarker to predict the patients' prognosis. To verify its feasibility as a biomarker, the present study sought to determine how the ADC values of HCC are affected by a tumor's histopathologic grade and arterial vascularity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: From 131 consecutive patients, 141 surgically resected HCCs (16 well-differentiated [wd-HCCs], 83 moderately-differentiated [md-HCCs], and 42 poorly-differentiated HCCs [pd-HCCs]) were subjected to a comparison of the tumors' arterial vascularity (non-, slightly-, or markedly-hypervascular) determined on dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and the ADC was measured retrospectively. RESULTS: The pd-HCCs (1.05+/-0.16 x 10-3 mm2/s) had a significantly lower ADC than md-HCCs (1.16+/-0.21 x 10-3 mm2/s; p = 0.010), but there was no significant difference compared to wd-HCCs (1.11+/-0.18 x 10-3 mm2/s; p = 0.968). The mean ADC was significantly higher in markedly hypervascular lesions (1.20+/-0.20 x 10-3 mm2/s) than in nonhypervascular lesions (0.95+/-0.14 x 10-3mm2/s; p<0.001) or slightly hypervascular lesions (1.04+/-0.15 x 10-3mm2/s; p<0.001). The ADC values and arterial vascularity were significantly correlated in wd-HCCs (p = 0.005) and md-HCCs (p<0.001). The mean ADC of pd-HCCs was significantly lower than those of other lesions, even in the markedly hypervascular lesion subgroup (p = 0.020). CONCLUSION: Although pd-HCC constantly shows low ADCs regardless of arterial vascularities, ADCs cannot stably stratify histopathologic tumor grades due to the variable features of wd-HCCs; and the ADC should be used with caution as a tumor biomarker of HCC.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Radiology (영상의학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Joo Hee(김주희) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5383-3602
Park, In Kyung(박인경)
Yu, Jeong Sik(유정식) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8171-5838
Chung, Jae Joon(정재준) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7447-1193
Cho, Eun Suk(조은석)
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