Background: Identification of prognostic patient characteristics in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is of great importance. Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive HNSCCs have favorable response to (chemo)radiotherapy. Apparent diffusion coefficient, derived from diffusion-weighted MRI, has also shown to predict treatment response. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the correlation between HPV status and apparent diffusion coefficient.
Methods: Seventy-three patients with histologically proven HNSCC were retrospectively analyzed. Mean pretreatment apparent diffusion coefficient was calculated by delineation of total tumor volume on diffusion-weighted MRI. HPV status was analyzed and correlated to apparent diffusion coefficient.
Results: Six HNSCCs were HPV-positive. HPV-positive HNSCC showed significantly lower apparent diffusion coefficient compared to HPV-negative. This correlation was independent of other patient characteristics.
Conclusion: In HNSCC, positive HPV status correlates with low mean apparent diffusion coefficient. The favorable prognostic value of low pretreatment apparent diffusion coefficient might be partially attributed to patients with a positive HPV status. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E613-E618, 2016.
Keywords: apparent diffusion coefficient; diffusion; diffusion-weighted MRI; head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC); human papillomavirus (HPV).
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.