OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of histogram analysis of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) parameters for the differentiation of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and malignant lymphoma of the oropharynx. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Pretreatment DCE-MRI was performed in 21 patients with pathologically confirmed oropharyngeal SCC and six patients with malignant lymphoma. DCE-MRI parameter maps including the volume transfer constant (Ktrans), flux rate constant (kep), and extravascular extracellular volume fraction (ve) based on the Tofts model were obtained. Enhancing tumors were manually segmented on each slice of the parameter maps, and the data were collected to obtain a histogram for the entire tumor volume. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was used to compare the histogram parameters of each DCE-MRI-derived variable of oropharyngeal SCC and lymphoma. RESULTS. Histogram analysis of Ktrans and ve maps revealed that the median and mode of Ktrans were significantly higher in SCC than in lymphoma (p = 0.039 and 0.032, respectively), and the mode, skewness, and kurtosis of ve were significantly different in SCC than in lymphoma (p = 0.046, 0.039, and 0.032, respectively). On ROC analysis, the kurtosis of ve had the best discriminative value for distinguishing between oropharyngeal SCC and lymphoma (AUC, 0.865; cutoff value, 2.60; sensitivity, 83.3%; specificity, 90.5%). CONCLUSION. Our preliminary evidence using histogram analysis of DCE-MRI parameters based on the whole tumor volume suggests that it might be useful for differentiating SCC from malignant lymphoma of the oropharynx.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging