Subtype differentiation of small (≤ 4 cm) solid renal mass using volumetric histogram analysis of DWI at 3-T MRI

Anqin Li, Wei Xing, Haojie Li, Yao Hu, Daoyu Hu, Zhen Li, Ihab R. Kamel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the utility of volumetric histogram analysis of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) derived from reduced-FOV DWI for small (≤ 4 cm) solid renal mass subtypes at 3-T MRI. MATERIALS AND METHODS. This retrospective study included 38 clear cell renal cell carcinomas (RCCs), 16 papillary RCCs, 18 chromophobe RCCs, 13 minimal fat angio-myolipomas (AMLs), and seven oncocytomas evaluated with preoperative MRI. Volumetric ADC maps were generated using all slices of the reduced-FOV DW images to obtain histogram parameters, including mean, median, 10th percentile, 25th percentile, 75th percentile, 90th percentile, and SD ADC values, as well as skewness, kurtosis, and entropy. Comparisons of these parameters were made by one-way ANOVA, t test, and ROC curves analysis. RESULTS. ADC histogram parameters differentiated eight of 10 pairs of renal tumors. Three subtype pairs (clear cell RCC vs papillary RCC, clear cell RCC vs chromophobe RCC, and clear cell RCC vs minimal fat AML) were differentiated by mean ADC. However, five other subtype pairs (clear cell RCC vs oncocytoma, papillary RCC vs minimal fat AML, papillary RCC vs oncocytoma, chromophobe RCC vs minimal fat AML, and chromophobe RCC vs oncocytoma) were differentiated by histogram distribution parameters exclusively (all p < 0.05). Mean ADC, median ADC, 75th and 90th percentile ADC, SD ADC, and entropy of malignant tumors were significantly higher than those of benign tumors (all p < 0.05). Combination of mean ADC with histogram parameters yielded the highest AUC (0.851; sensitivity, 80.0%; specificity, 86.1%). CONCLUSION. Quantitative volumetric ADC histogram analysis may help differentiate various subtypes of small solid renal tumors, including benign and malignant lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)614-623
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Apparent diffusion coefficient
  • DWI
  • Small solid renal tumors
  • Volumetric histogram analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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