Diffusion-weighted and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging after radiation therapy for bone metastases in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma

Sci Rep. 2021 May 17;11(1):10459. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-90065-1.


The objectives of this study were to assess changes in apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) parameters after radiation therapy (RT) for bone metastases from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to evaluate their prognostic value. This prospective study was approved by the Institutional Review Board. Fourteen patients with HCC underwent RT (30 Gy in 10 fractions once daily) for bone metastases. The ADC and DCE-MRI parameters and the volume of the target lesions were measured before (baseline) and one month after RT (post-RT). The Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to compare the parameters between the baseline and post-RT MRI. The parameters were compared between patients with or without disease progression in RT fields using the Mann-Whitney test. Intraclass correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the interobserver agreement. The medians of the ADC, rate constant [kep], and volume fraction of the extravascular extracellular matrix [ve] in the baseline and post-RT MRI were 0.67 (range 0.61-0.72) and 0.75 (range 0.63-1.43) (× 10-3 mm2/s) (P = 0.027), 836.33 (range 301.41-1082.32) and 335.80 (range 21.86-741.87) (× 10-3/min) (P = 0.002), and 161.54 (range 128.38-410.13) and 273.99 (range 181.39-1216.95) (× 10-3) (P = 0.027), respectively. The medians of the percent change in the ADC of post-RT MRI in patients with progressive disease and patients without progressive disease were - 1.35 (range - 6.16 to 6.79) and + 46.71 (range 7.71-112.81) (%) (P = 0.011), respectively. The interobserver agreements for all MRI parameters were excellent (intraclass correlation coefficients > 0.8). In conclusion, the ADC, kep, and ve of bone metastases changed significantly after RT. The percentage change in the ADC was closely related to local tumor progression.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Bone Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / secondary
  • Contrast Media / administration & dosage
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies


  • Contrast Media