European Radiology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 223–231 | Cite as

Head and neck tumours: combined MRI assessment based on IVIM and TIC analyses for the differentiation of tumors of different histological types

  • Misa Sumi
  • Takashi NakamuraEmail author
Head and Neck



We evaluated the combined use of intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) and time-signal intensity curve (TIC) analyses to diagnose head and neck tumours.


We compared perfusion-related parameters (PP) and molecular diffusion values (D) determined from IVIM theory and TIC profiles among 92 tumours with different histologies.


IVIM parameters (f and D values) and TIC profiles in combination were distinct among the different types of head and neck tumours, including squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), lymphomas, malignant salivary gland tumours, Warthin’s tumours, pleomorphic adenomas and schwannomas. A multiparametric approach using both IVIM parameters and TIC profiles differentiated between benign and malignant tumours with 97 % accuracy and diagnosed different tumour types with 89 % accuracy.


Combined use of IVIM parameters and TIC profiles has high efficacy in diagnosing head and neck tumours.

Key points

• Head and neck tumours have wide MR perfusion/diffusion properties.

• Dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MR imaging can characterise tumour perfusion (TIC analysis).

• Intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) imaging can provide diffusion and perfusion properties.

• However, IVIM or DCE imaging alone is insufficient for diagnosing head/neck tumours.

• Multiparametric approach using both IVIM and TIC profiles can facilitate the diagnosis.


Diffusion-weighted MR imaging Intravoxel incoherent motion theory Contrast-enhanced MR imaging Head and neck tumours Differential diagnosis 



intravoxel incoherent motion


time-signal intensity curve


dynamic contrast-enhanced


perfusion-related parameter


molecular diffusion


squamous cell carcinoma


spectral attenuated with inversion recovery


turbo spin-echo


maximum time


enhancement ratio


washout ratio




echo planar imaging



Some patients of the present study cohort overlapped those of the previous study, which was published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology [9]. In that paper, we evaluated IVIM parameters for diagnosing head and neck tumours, but not the combined assessment of TIC and IVIM parameters.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Cancer BiologyNagasaki University School of DentistryNagasakiJapan

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