Advances in Therapy

, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 1158–1168 | Cite as

The Role of Intravoxel Incoherent Motion MRI in Predicting Early Treatment Response to Chemoradiation for Metastatic Lymph Nodes in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

  • Liyan Lu
  • Yuehua LiEmail author
  • Wenbin LiEmail author
Original Research



Pilot studies have suggested potential clinical applications for intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in head and neck cancers. This study aimed to characterize metastatic lymph nodes using IVIM MRI, and to evaluate the role of IVIM MRI in the prediction of the early treatment response of lymph node metastasis from nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).


A total of 122 patients with metastatic lymph nodes from NPC underwent two MRI examinations, pre-treatment and post-treatment (at 4 weeks and at ≥2 years from the end of chemoradiotherapy). Treatment response was assessed using the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1. Differences in the initial IVIM parameters [pure molecular diffusion (D), pseudo-diffusion coefficient (D*), and perfusion fraction (f)] between nodes with a partial response (PR) and a complete response (CR) were analyzed in 102 patients after the exclusion of 20.


The initial D*, D, and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) did not reveal a significant difference between nodes showing a PR or a CR. The mean initial f value was significantly higher in patients with a PR relative to patients with a CR (p = 0.003), and its sensitivity and specificity in predicting treatment response to chemoradiotherapy were 86.7% and 100%, respectively.


The present study indicated that the initial f value may be more accurate than the initial D*, D, and ADC in the early prediction of treatment response to chemoradiotherapy for metastatic lymph nodes in patients with NPC.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma Intravoxel incoherent motion MRI Treatment response 



The article processing charges for this publication were funded by grants from the National Natural Scientific Foundation of China, No. 81471656; Shanghai Science Foundation, No,14 ZR 1432100. All named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this manuscript, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given final approval for the version to be published. Medical writing assistance was provided by Liwen Bianji company. This assistance was funded by Liyan Lu. The authors thank Shiteng Suo from department of radiology, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University for their helpful contribution towards this manuscript.


Liyan Lu, Yuehua Li and Wenbin Li have nothing to disclose.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board (No. 2013-06-28) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s Hospital. All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1964, as revised in 2013. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Healthcare 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyShanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated Sixth People’s HospitalShanghaiChina

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