Correlation of human papillomavirus status with apparent diffusion coefficient of diffusion-weighted MRI in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas

Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E613-8. doi: 10.1002/hed.24051. Epub 2015 Jul 14.


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).

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / virology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies