Objective: ADC calculation can improve the diagnostic efficacy of MR imaging in brain tumor grading and differentiation.
Methods: Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values and ratios of 33 low-grade (23 astrocytomas, 10 oligodendrogliomas) and 40 high-grade (25 metastases and 15 high-grade astrocytomas) malignant tumors were prospectively evaluated.
Results: Tumoral ADC values (r=-0.738, P <0.000) and ratios (r=-0.746, P < 0.000) were well correlated with higher degree of malignancy and quite effective in grading of malignant brain tumors (P < 0.000). By using cutoff values of 0.99 for tumoral ADC value and 1.22 for normalized ADC ratio, the sensitivity of MR imaging could be increased from 72.22% to 93.75% and 90.63%, the specificity from 81.08% to 92.68% and 90.24%, PPV from 78.79% to 90.91% and 87.88%, and NPV from 75.00% to 95.00% and 92.50%, respectively.
Conclusion: ADC calculation was quite effective in grading of malignant brain tumors but not in differentiation of them and added more information to conventional contrast-enhanced MR imaging.