JOURNAL ARTICLE

Diffusion weighted MRI and 18F-FDG PET/CT in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): does the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) correlate with tracer uptake (SUV)?

M Regier, T Derlin, D Schwarz, A Laqmani, F O Henes, M Groth, J-H Buhk, H Kooijman, G Adam
European Journal of Radiology 2012, 81 (10): 2913-8
22197090

INTRODUCTION: To investigate the potential correlation of the apparent diffusion coefficient assessed by diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) and glucose metabolism determined by the standardized uptake value (SUV) at 18F-FDG PET/CT in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 18F-FDG PET/CT and DWI (TR/TE, 2000/66 ms; b-values, 0 and 500 s/mm(2)) were performed in 41 consecutive patients with histologically verified NSCLC. Analysing the PET-CT data calculation of the mean (SUV(mean)) and maximum (SUV(max)) SUV was performed. By placing a region-of-interest (ROI) encovering the entire tumor mean (ADC(mean)) and minimum ADC (ADC(min)) were determined by two independent radiologists. Results of 18F-FDG PET-CT and DWI were compared on a per-patient basis. For statistical analysis Pearson's correlation coefficient, Bland-Altman and regression analysis were assessed.

RESULTS: Data analysis revealed a significant inverse correlation of the ADC(min) and SUV(max) (r=-0.46; p=0.032). Testing the correlation of the ADC(min) and SUV(max) for each histological subtype separately revealed that the inverse correlation was good for both adenocarcinomas (r=-0.47; p=0.03) and squamouscell carcinomas (r=-0.71; p=0.002), respectively. No significant correlation was found for the comparison of ADC(min) and SUV(mean) (r=-0.29; p=0.27), ADC(mean) vs. SUV(mean) (r=-0.28; p=0.31) or ADC(mean) vs. SUV(max) (r=-0.33; p=0.23). The κ-value of 0.88 indicated a good agreement between both observers.

CONCLUSION: This preliminary study is the first to verify the relation between the SUV and the ADC in NSCLC. The significant inverse correlation of these two quantitative imaging approaches points out the association of metabolic activity and tumor cellularity. Therefore, DWI with ADC measurement might represent a new prognostic marker in NSCLC.

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