Differential diagnosis of parotid gland tumours: Application of SWI combined with DWI and DCE-MRI

Eur J Radiol. 2022 Jan:146:110094. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2021.110094. Epub 2021 Dec 3.


Background: Parotid tumours (PTs) have a variety of pathological types, and the surgical procedures differ depending on the tumour type. However, accurate diagnosis of PTs from the current preoperative examinations is unsatisfactory.

Methods: This retrospective study was approved by the Ethics Committee of our hospital, and the requirement for informed consent was waived. A total of 73 patients with PTs, including 55 benign and 18 malignant tumours confirmed by surgical pathology, were enrolled. All patients underwent diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI), dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI), susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), and T1-weighted imaging (T1WI). The signal uniformity and capsule on T2WI, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) derived from DWI, semi-quantitative parameter time-intensity curve (TIC) pattern, and quantitative parameters including transfer constant (Ktrans), extravascular extracellular volume fraction (Ve), wash-out constant (Kep) calculated from DCE-MRI, and intratumoural susceptibility signal (ITSS) obtained from SWI were assessed and compared between benign and malignant PTs. Logistic regression analysis was used to select the predictive parameters for the classification of benign and malignant parotid gland tumours, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to evaluate their diagnostic performance.

Results: Malignant PTs tended to exhibit a type C TIC pattern, whereas benign tumours tended to be type A and B (p < 0.001). Benign PTs had less ITSS than malignant tumours (p < 0.001). Multivariate analyses showed that ADC, Ve, and ITSS were predictors of tumour classification. ROC analysis showed that the area under the curve (AUC) of ADC, Ve, ITSS, and ADC combined with Ve were 0.623, 0.615, 0.826, and 0.782, respectively, in differentiating between malignant and benign PTs. When ITSS was added, the AUCs of ADC, Ve, and ADC combined with Ve increased to 0.882, 0.848, and 0.930, respectively.

Conclusion: SWI offers incremental diagnostic value to DWI and DCE-MRI in the characterisation of parotid gland tumours.

Keywords: Diffusion-weighted imaging; Dynamic contrast enhancement; Intratumoural susceptibility signal; Parotid tumours; Susceptibility-weighted imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Parotid Gland
  • Parotid Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Contrast Media