Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 239–246 | Cite as

High signal renal tumors on DWI: the diagnostic value of morphological characteristics

  • Hongtao Zhang
  • Jingjing Pan
  • Yanguang Shen
  • Xu Bai
  • Yingwei Wang
  • Haiyi WangEmail author
  • Huiyi YeEmail author



To assess the usefulness of morphological characteristics of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) for differentiating malignant renal tumors from benign renal tumors, and clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) from non-clear cell RCC at 3.0 T.


The study included 249 patients with 251 histopathologically confirmed renal tumors that showed high signal on DWI. For each tumor, two radiologists independently evaluated apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values and morphological characteristics of DWI. The differences in the quantitative and qualitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features determined by the readers were assessed. The ADC values between malignant and benign renal tumors and between clear cell and non-clear cell RCC were compared using Mann–Whitney tests. The proportional differences of morphological characteristics of DWI between malignant and benign renal tumors and between clear cell and non-clear cell RCC were compared using Chi-square tests.


There were no significant differences in the quantitative and qualitative MRI features determined by the readers. The ADC values for malignant renal tumors were statistically significantly higher than those for benign renal tumors (p < 0.05), and the ADC values for clear cell RCC were statistically significantly higher than those for non-clear cell RCC (p < 0.05). The proportion of morphological characteristics of DWI between malignant and benign renal tumors was statistically significantly different at ring, nodular, flaky high signal. The proportion of morphological characteristics of DWI between clear cell and non-clear cell RCC was statistically significantly different at uniform high signal.


The morphological characteristics of DWI are useful in differentiating renal tumors.


Renal tumors Diffusion-weighted imaging, DWI Magnetic resonance imaging, MRI Morphological characteristics 


Compliance with ethical standards


This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81771785 and 81471641). The funders had no role in research design, data collection, and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyChinese PLA General HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Radiology307 Hospital, PLABeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyGeneral Hospital of the PLA Rocket ForceBeijingChina

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