European Radiology

, Volume 20, Issue 8, pp 1803–1811 | Cite as

Value of diffusion-weighted imaging to detect small malignant pelvic lymph nodes at 3 T

  • Catherine Roy
  • Guillaume Bierry
  • Andrea Matau
  • Gauthier Bazille
  • Rémy Pasquali



To investigate the usefulness of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to discriminate between metastatic and non-metastatic small lymph nodes in pelvic carcinoma.

Materials and Methods

A total of 259 patients (180 normal, 79 metastatic) prospectively underwent DWI at 3 T. We measured the short-axis diameter and the mean apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value. Lymph nodes with a short-axis diameter larger than 8 mm were recorded as being suspected metastatic lymph nodes. Imaging data were correlated station by station with histopathological results.


A total of 140 metastatic nodes were accurately matched with histology. On T2w, the short-axis diameter for non-metastatic and metastatic lymph nodes was 6.4 mm ± 2.5 mm and 8.3 mm ± 4.5 mm, respectively. Almost all metastatic or non-metastatic nodes had similar high signal intensity on DWI (except in 5 cases) with a homogeneous pattern. The mean ADC values (10−3 mm3/s ± standard deviation) of involved lymph nodes, control iliac nodes and control inguinal nodes were 924 ± 217, 968 ± 182 and 1,036 ± 181, respectively. There were no statistically significant differences in the ADC of metastatic and non-metastatic nodes.


Isolated measurement of mean ADC values in a suspected station does not contribute to the diagnosis of metastatic nodes, in patients with small ambiguous nodes.


Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging Pelvic neoplasms Lymphatic metastasis Lymph nodes 


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catherine Roy
    • 1
  • Guillaume Bierry
    • 1
  • Andrea Matau
    • 1
  • Gauthier Bazille
    • 1
  • Rémy Pasquali
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiology BUniversitary Hospital of StrasbourgStrasbourg cedexFrance

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