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Associations Between Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Values and the Prognostic Factors of Breast Cancer

Choi, Bo Bae MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: November/December 2019 - Volume 43 - Issue 6 - p 931–936
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0000000000000936
Breast Imaging

Objectives Breast imaging can offer great information about breast cancer heterogeneity. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values and various prognostic factors and investigate whether ADC values are useful for breast cancer diagnosis, evaluation of treatment response, and determination of prognosis.

Methods A total of 111 cases of breast cancer were included in this study. Magnetic resonance findings were recorded according to the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System magnetic resonance imaging lexicon. Diffusion-weighted imaging rim sign and minimum, maximum, and difference ADC values (ADCdiff) were also evaluated.

Results ADCdiff was related to all prognostic factors such as histological grade, Ki-67, tumor size, molecular subtype, axillary node metastasis, lymphvascular invasion, internal enhancement pattern, intratumoral high T2 signal, peritumoral edema, and diffusion-weighted imaging rim sign, whereas minimum and maximum ADC values showed variable associations.

Conclusions Apparent diffusion coefficient values were shown to be correlated with many proven or possible prognostic factors of breast cancer. In particular, ADCdiff can reflect tumor heterogeneity and showed higher correlation.

From the Department of Radiology, Chungnam University Hospital.

Received for publication April 3, 2019; accepted August 5, 2019.

Correspondence to: Bo Bae Choi, MD, Department of Radiology, Chungnam University Hospital, 282 Munhwa-ro, Jung-gu Daejeon 35015, Korea (e-mail:

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Online date: November 15, 2019

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