The diagnostic value of diffusion-weighted imaging and the apparent diffusion coefficient values in the differentiation of benign and malignant breast lesions

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Abstract

Introduction:

The goal of our study was to evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) in the differentiation of benign and malignant breast lesions.

Methods:

Between June 2012 and March 2013, 60 patients with 63 lesions (age range 29–70 years, mean age 48.6 years) were included in our study. All lesions, except complicated cysts and intra-mammary lymph nodes, were confirmed histopathologically. The patients were evaluated with a 1.5 Tesla MR scanner using dedicated bilateral breast coil. DWI images were obtained by echo planar imaging sequence and ‘b’ values were selected as 200, 600 and 1000 s/mm2. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of both breast lesions and the normal fibroglandular tissue of the contralateral breast were calculated and statistically compared using Shapiro–Wilk test, Student's t-test, Mann–Whitney U test, chi-square test and the receiver operating curve.

Results:

Of 63 lesions, 22 were malignant and 41 were benign. In malignant lesions, the mean ADC values were 1.40 ± 0.41 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 200, 1.05 ± 0.28 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 600 and 0.91 ± 0.20 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 1000 and in benign lesions, the mean ADC values were 2.13 ± 0.85 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 200, 1.64 ± 0.47 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 600 and 1.40 ± 0.43 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 1000. The success of ADC values in differentiation of benign and malignant lesions was statistically significant (P = 0.0001). The threshold values were determined to be 1.50 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 200, 1.22 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 600 and 0.98 × 10−3 mm2/s for b = 1000 (P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

DWI can be an effective radiological method in the differentiation of benign and malignant breast lesions.

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