ISSN 1305-3825 | E-ISSN 1305-3612
Genitourinary Imaging - Original Article
Diffusion tensor imaging in the differentiation of adrenal adenomas and metastases
1 Departments of Radiology, Yeditepe University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey  
2 Department of Radiology, Yeditepe University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey  
3 Department of Radiology, University of Yeditepe School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey  
4 Department of Interventional Radiology, İstanbul Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey  
5 Department of Radiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, ABD.  
6 Department of Oncology, İstanbul Bilim University, İstanbul, Turkey  
7 Departments of Radiology, 19 Mayıs University School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey  
Diagn Interv Radiol 2012; 18: 189-194
DOI: 10.4261/1305-3825.DIR.4582-11.1
Key Words: adrenal glands • diffusion tensor imaging• adenoma
Abstract

PURPOSE
To determine the utility of diffusion tensor imaging for the differentiation of adrenal adenomas and metastases.

 

MATERIALS AND METHODS
Thirty-three patients with a mean age of 59 years were included in this study. Each subject presented with a single adrenal lesion (19 adenomas, 14 metastases). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in the coronal plane using a 3 Tesla MRI and a six-channel phased array SENSE torso coil. T1-weighted in-phase and opposed-phase, T2-weighted turbo spin-echo, and single-shot echo-planar diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) sequences were used for image acquisition. To determine apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) values of adrenal lesions, coronal T2-weighted images were used as anatomical references and to localize regions of interest on DTI images. The signal intensity (SI) indices were obtained from in-phase/opposed-phase images by a radiologist blinded to the DTI findings. The DTI parameters were determined by a different radiologist. The SI indices and the differences in FA and ADCs between adenomas and metastases were compared. Analyses of receiver operating characteristics (ROC) were performed to determine the area under the curve (AUC).

 

RESULTS
The SI index of adenomas was found to be significantly higher than the value determined for metastases. Moreover, the median FA value of adrenal adenomas was found to be significantly higher than that of metastases. No statistically significant difference was observed in the ADCs between adenomas and metastases. Furthermore, no significant correlation was found among the SI index and the measured DTI parameters. Based on ROC analyses, the AUC was found to be 0.936 in FA measurements with a 95% confidence interval. The cutoff value obtained from this analysis was 0.40 with maximum sensitivity and specificity values of 74% and 88%, respectively.

 

CONCLUSION
Although no significant difference was observed in the ADCs between adrenal adenomas and metastases, the FA values differed significantly. The FA values may have the potential to differentiate between adrenal adenomas and metastases, which is a possibility that should be validated by further research.

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