Diagnostic accuracy of diffusion-weighted imaging in differentiating benign from malignant ovarian lesions

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2008 Nov;28(5):1149-56. doi: 10.1002/jmri.21575.


Purpose: To clarify the diagnostic accuracy of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in differentiating benign from malignant ovarian lesions.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively analyzed magnetic resonance images of 123 ovarian lesions in 119 patients. We defined lesions with abnormal signal intensity as malignancy and assessed the location of abnormal intensity within the lesions on DWI. We also assessed the mean and lowest apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of the solid portion for each ovarian lesion.

Results: The majority of malignant ovarian tumors and mature cystic teratomas, and almost half of the endometriomas, showed abnormal signal intensity on DWI, whereas most fibromas and other benign lesions did not. The main locations of abnormal signal intensity were solid portions in malignant ovarian tumors, cystic components suggestive of keratinoid substances and Rokitansky protuberance in mature cystic teratomas, and intracystic clots in endometriomas. On DW imaging, receiver-operating characteristic analysis yielded mean Az values of 0.703. There was no significant difference in mean and lowest ADC values between malignant and benign lesions.

Conclusion: DWI of ovarian lesions and ADC values of the solid component are not useful for differentiating benign from malignant ovarian lesions. This knowledge is essential in avoiding misinterpretation in the diagnosis of ovarian lesions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Algorithms*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / classification*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult