Purpose: To evaluate diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) for detection of pelvic lymph node metastasis in patients with cervical and uterine cancers.
Materials and methods: Fifty patients scheduled for pelvic lymph node dissection were enrolled for 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using a single-shot echo-planar DWI technique, body-phased array coil, b = 0, 1000 s/mm(2). We measured short/long-axis diameters, mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of all identifiable nodes, relative ADC values between tumors and nodes, and utilized their cutoff values to validate the diagnostic accuracy internally. Histopathologic results served as the reference standard.
Results: The relative ADC values between tumor and nodes were significantly lower in metastatic than in benign nodes (0.06 vs. 0.21 x 10(-3) mm(2)/s, P < 0.001; cutoff value 0.10 x 10(-3) mm(2)/s). Compared to conventional MRI, the method combining size and relative ADC values resulted in better sensitivity (25% vs. 83%) and similar specificity (98% vs. 99%). The smallest metastatic lymph node detected by this method measured 5 mm on its short axis.
Conclusion: The combination of size and relative ADC values was useful in detecting pelvic lymph node metastasis in patients with cervical and uterine cancers.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.