MRI findings and utility of DWI in the evaluation of solid parathyroid lesions

Radiol Med. 2019 May;124(5):360-367. doi: 10.1007/s11547-018-0970-8. Epub 2019 Jan 3.


Purpose: To evaluate the MRI findings of solid parathyroid lesions and to elaborate on a possible improvement of MRI detection of parathyroid lesions by the use of additional DWI.

Materials and methods: MRI and DWI properties of pathologically proven 20 solid parathyroid lesions were retrospectively reviewed. Mean ADC values (b50 + b400 + b800/3) of parathyroid lesions were compared with that of normal appearing thyroid parenchyma (TP), sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and jugulodigastric lymph nodes (JDLN).

Results: Of lesions, 4 were parathyroid hyperplasia, 13 parathyroid adenoma and 3 parathyroid adenocarcinoma. All parathyroid lesions were very bright on fat-saturated T2W images. Parathyroid hyperplasia and adenoma were small sized, homogenous, well-defined and low on T1W, high on T2W and avidly enhancing. Parathyroid carcinoma was large sized, ill-defined and very heterogeneous on MRI including DWI. Means ADC values of parathyroid hyperplasia, adenoma, and adenocarcinoma, TP, SCM and JDLN were measured as 2.3 ± 0.14 × 10-3, 1.7 ± 0.45 × 10-3, 1.5 ± 1.48 × 10-3, 0.87 ± 0.40 × 10-3, 0.55 ± 0.21 × 10-3 and 0.96 ± 0.33 × 10-3 mm2/s, respectively. All parathyroid lesions had high diffusion properties comparing other soft tissue structures of head and neck region. By increasing strength (b value) of diffusion tensor on DWI, solid parathyroid lesions still kept their brightness comparing other soft tissue structures of head and neck region because of their high T2 properties.

Conclusion: Solid parathyroid lesions had higher diffusion properties comparing other soft tissues structures of head and neck region. This feature makes them easily differentiate from nearby structures on fat-saturated T2W and DWI.

Keywords: DWI; DWI of solid parathyroid lesions; MRI; MRI findings solid parathyroid lesions; Parathyroid; Solid parathyroid lesions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Parathyroid Diseases / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies