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Subtype Differentiation of Renal Tumors Using Voxel-Based Histogram Analysis of Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Parameters

Gaing, Byron MD*; Sigmund, Eric E. PhD*; Huang, William C. MD; Babb, James S. PhD*; Parikh, Nainesh S. MD, MBA*; Stoffel, David BS*; Chandarana, Hersh MD*

doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000111
Original Article

Objectives The aim of this study was to determine if voxel-based histogram analysis of intravoxel incoherent motion imaging (IVIM) parameters can differentiate various subtypes of renal tumors, including benign and malignant lesions.

Subjects and Methods A total of 44 patients with renal tumors who underwent surgery and had histopathology available were included in this Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–compliant, institutional review board–approved, single-institution prospective study. In addition to routine renal magnetic resonance imaging examination performed on a 1.5-T system, all patients were imaged with axial diffusion-weighted imaging using 8 b values (range, 0–800 s/mm2). A biexponential model was fitted to the diffusion signal data using a segmented algorithm to extract the IVIM parameters perfusion fraction (fp), tissue diffusivity (Dt), and pseudodiffusivity (Dp) for each voxel. Mean and histogram measures of heterogeneity (standard deviation, skewness, and kurtosis) of IVIM parameters were correlated with pathology results of tumor subtype using unequal variance t tests to compare subtypes in terms of each measure. Correction for multiple comparisons was accomplished using the Tukey honestly significant difference procedure.

Results A total of 44 renal tumors including 23 clear cell (ccRCC), 4 papillary (pRCC), 5 chromophobe, and 5 cystic renal cell carcinomas, as well as benign lesions, 4 oncocytomas (Onc) and 3 angiomyolipomas (AMLs), were included in our analysis. Mean IVIM parameters fp and Dt differentiated 8 of 15 pairs of renal tumors. Histogram analysis of IVIM parameters differentiated 9 of 15 subtype pairs. One subtype pair (ccRCC vs pRCC) was differentiated by mean analysis but not by histogram analysis. However, 2 other subtype pairs (AML vs Onc and ccRCC vs Onc) were differentiated by histogram distribution parameters exclusively. The standard deviation of Dt [σ(Dt)] differentiated ccRCC (0.362 ± 0.136 × 10−3 mm2/s) from AML (0.199 ± 0.043 × 10−3 mm2/s) (P = 0.002). Kurtosis of fp separated Onc (2.767 ± 1.299) from AML (−0.325 ± 0.279; P = 0.001), ccRCC (0.612 ± 1.139; P = 0.042), and pRCC (0.308 ± 0.730; P = 0.025).

Conclusions Intravoxel incoherent motion imaging parameters with inclusion of histogram measures of heterogeneity can help differentiate malignant from benign lesions as well as various subtypes of renal cancers.

From the Departments of *Radiology and †Urology, New York University Langone Medical Center.

Received for publication July 15, 2014; and accepted for publication, after revision, September 16, 2014.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: This work partly supported by Radiologic Society of North America (RSNA) seed grant RSD0911 (2009–2010).

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Hersh Chandarana, MD, New York University Langone Medical Center, Department of Radiology, 660 First Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10016. E-mail:

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