Minimum apparent diffusion coefficients in the evaluation of brain tumors

Eur J Radiol. 2005 Sep;55(3):393-400. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2005.02.004.


Objective: To determine whether diffusion-weighted imaging by using minimum apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC(min)) values could differentiate various brain tumors including gliomas, metastases, and lymphomas.

Materials and methods: We examined 65 patients with histologically or clinically diagnosed brain tumors (12 low-grade gliomas, 31 high-grade gliomas, 14 metastatic tumors, and 8 lymphomas) using a 1.5 T MR unit. On diffusion-weighted imaging, the ADC(min) values were measured within the tumors and mean values were evaluated regarding statistical differences between groups.

Results: The ADC(min) values of low-grade gliomas (1.09+/-0.20 x 10(-3)mm(2)/s) were significantly higher (p<.001) than those of other tumors. There were no statistical significant differences between glioblastomas (0.70+/-0.16 mm(2)/s), anaplastic astrocytomas (0.77+/-0.21 mm(2)/s), metastases (0.78+/-0.21 mm(2)/s), and lymphomas. But, lymphomas had lower mean ADC(min) values (0.54+/-0.10mm(2)/s) than high-grade gliomas and metastases.

Conclusion: The ADC measurements may help to differentiate low-grade gliomas from high-grade gliomas, metastases, and lymphomas. Although there is no statistical difference, lymphomas seem to have marked restriction in diffusion coefficients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology