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Histogram analysis of whole-lesion enhancement in differentiating clear cell from papillary subtype of renal cell cancer

Hersh Chandarana, Andrew B Rosenkrantz, Thais C Mussi, Sooah Kim, Afshan A Ahmad, Sean D Raj, John McMenamy, Jonathan Melamed, James S Babb, Berthold Kiefer, Atilla P Kiraly
Radiology 2012, 265 (3): 790-8
23175544

PURPOSE: To compare histogram analysis of voxel-based whole-lesion (WL) enhancement to qualitative assessment and region-of-interest (ROI)-based enhancement analysis in discriminating the renal cell cancer (RCC) subtype clear cell RCC (ccRCC) from papillary RCC (pRCC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: In this institutional review board-approved, HIPAA-compliant retrospective study, 73 patients underwent magnetic resonance (MR) imaging prior to surgery for RCC between January 2007 and January 2010. Three-dimensional fat-suppressed T1-weighted gradient-echo corticomedullary phase acquisitions, obtained before and after contrast agent administration, were transferred to a workstation at which automated registration followed by semiautomated segmentation of the RCC was performed. Percent enhancement was computed on a per-voxel basis: (SI(post) - SI(pre))/SI(pre) .100, where SI(pre) and SI(post) indicate signal intensity before and after contrast enhancement, respectively. The WL quantitative parameters of mean, median, and third quartile enhancement and histogram distribution parameters kurtosis and skewness were computed for each lesion. WL enhancement parameters were compared with ROI-based analysis and qualitative assessment with regards to diagnostic accuracy and interreader agreement in differentiating ccRCC from pRCC.

RESULTS: There were 19 pRCCs and 55 ccRCCs at pathologic examination. ccRCC had significantly higher WL mean, median, and third quartile enhancement compared with pRCC and hade significantly lower kurtosis and skewness (all P < .001). Third quartile enhancement had the highest accuracy (94.6%; area under the curve, 0.980) in discriminating ccRCC from pRCC, which was significantly higher than the accuracy of qualitative assessment (86.0%; P = .04) but not significantly higher than that of ROI enhancement (89.2%; P = .52). WL enhancement parameters had higher interreader agreement (κ = 0.91-1.0) compared with ROI enhancement or qualitative assessment (κ = 0.83 and 0.7, respectively) in discriminating ccRCC from pRCC.

CONCLUSION: WL enhancement histogram analysis is feasible and can potentially be used to differentiate ccRCC from pRCC with high accuracy.

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL: http://radiology.rsna.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.1148/radiol.12111281/-/DC1.

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