Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced MR Imaging in Head and Neck Cancer: Techniques and Clinical Applications

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2016 Apr;37(4):588-95. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A4458. Epub 2015 Oct 1.


In the past decade, dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging has had an increasing role in assessing the microvascular characteristics of various tumors, including head and neck cancer. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging allows noninvasive assessment of permeability and blood flow, both important features of tumor hypoxia, which is a marker for treatment resistance for head and neck cancer. Dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging has the potential to identify early locoregional recurrence, differentiate metastatic lymph nodes from normal nodes, and predict tumor response to treatment and treatment monitoring in patients with head and neck cancer. Quantitative analysis is in its early stage and standardization and refinement of technique are essential. In this article, we review the techniques of dynamic contrast-enhanced MR imaging data acquisition, analytic methods, current limitations, and clinical applications in head and neck cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*


  • Contrast Media