Document Type : Research Articles
Radiology Technology Department, School of Allied Medical Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Radiology Technology Department, Bahman hospital, Tehran, Iran.
Radiology Department, Arash Women’s Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran.
Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic value of diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) in assessment of metastases in axillary lymph nodes (ALNs) in a sample of Iranian women with breast cancer. Methods: A total of 50 axillary lymph nodes from 30 female patients with histologically verified breast cancer were assessed by 1.5 T MRI. DWI was implemented at b-values of 50, 400 and 800 s/mm2. Short axis diameter, presence of fatty hilum and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values (min, max and mean) of metastatic and non-metastatic ALNs was compared. Cutoff ADC values to discriminate between benign and malignant axillary lymph nodes were analyzed with receiver coefficient characteristic (ROC) curves. Result: The final histopathological examination revealed 46% (n=23) metastatic and 54% (n=27) non-metastatic ALNs. There was no statistically significant difference in short axis diameter between the two groups (p = 0.537). However there was significantly correlation between loss of fatty hilum and presence of metastases (p < 0.001) and ADC values (0.255 ± 0.19×10-3 mm2/s vs 0.616 ±0.3×10-3 mm2/s (ADC min), 1.088 ± 0.22×10-3 mm2/s vs 1.497 ± 0.24×10-3 mm2/s (ADC max) and 0.824 ± 0.103 ×10-3 mm2/s vs 1.098 ± 0.23 ×10-3 mm2/s (ADC mean)) of metastatic ALNs were significantly lower than those of non-metastatic ALNs (p < 0.001). The optimal mean ADC cut-off value for differentiation between metastatic and non-metastatic ALNs was 0.904×10-3 mm2/s which had a higher specificity (88.9%) and accuracy (91.8%) as compared with ADC min and ADC max. Conclusion: DWI-MRI and ADC values are promising imaging methods which can assess metastatic ALNs in breast cancer with high sensitivity, specificity and accuracy.