Histogram analysis of apparent diffusion coefficient map of standard and high B-value diffusion MR imaging in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a correlation study with histological grade

Acad Radiol. 2012 Oct;19(10):1233-40. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2012.04.019. Epub 2012 Jul 18.


Rationale and objectives: A histologic grade in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is clinically important because of its association with prognosis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of histographic analysis of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps on the basis of the entire tumor volume in differentiating histologic grades in HNSCC at standard (b = 1000 s/mm(2)) and high (b = 2000 s/mm(2)) b values.

Materials and methods: Fifty-four patients with HNSCC, including well-differentiated (WD; n = 35), moderately differentiated (MD; n = 13) and poorly differentiated (PD; n = 6) carcinomas, were retrospectively evaluated. ADC maps were obtained at two different b values (1000 and 2000 s/mm(2)) in each patient. Tumors were delineated on each slice of ADC maps, and data were collected to obtain a histogram for the entire tumor volume. Histographic parameters were calculated, including mean, standard deviation, kurtosis, skewness, and the ratio of the kurtosis measured at b values of 1000 and 2000 s/mm(2). These parameters were correlated with histologic grades.

Results: There was no significant correlation between tumor grades and histographic parameters obtained from ADC maps at b = 1000 s/mm(2). However, mean ADC at b = 2000 s/mm(2) was significantly higher in WD HNSCC (881 ± 131 × 10(-6) mm(2)/s) than in MD and PD HNSCC (770 ± 163 and 780 ± 158 × 10(-6) mm(2)/s, respectively) (P < .05). Kurtosis ratio was significantly higher in PD HNSCC (115 ± 10%) compared to WD and MD HNSCC (91 ± 21% and 86 ± 26%, respectively) (P < .05). Diagnostic accuracy was 100%, 76.9%, and 65.8% for PD, MD, and WD HNSCC, respectively.

Conclusions: Histographic analysis of ADC maps on the basis of the entire tumor volume can be useful in differentiating histologic grades of HNSCC using mean ADC at b = 2000 s/mm(2) and kurtosis ratio.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents