PURPOSE: To investigate the predictive role of Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Diffusion-Weighted Imaging (IVIM-DWI) parameters on cervical nodal response to chemo-radiotherapy (CRT) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with pathologically confirmed HNSCC were included in the present prospective study, having at least one positive cervical lymph node (LN). They received concomitant CRT and underwent three serial IVIM-DWI investigations: before, at mid-treatment and after treatment completion. Tissue diffusion coefficient D, perfusion-related diffusion coefficient D* and perfusion fraction f were calculated by a bi-exponential fit. The two-sided Mann-Whitney rank test was used to compare the imaging parameters of patients with regional failure (RF) and regional control (RC). A p value lower than 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.
RESULTS: Thirty-four patients were accrued. Twenty-four out of 34 LN (70.6%) showed persistent RC after a median follow-up time of 27.6 months (range: 12.0-50.2 months), while ten cases of RF (29.4%) were confirmed with a median time of 6.8 months (range: 1.5-19.5 months). Patients with RC showed significantly lower pre-treatment D values compared to the RF patients (p=0.038). At mid-treatment, the patients with RF showed significantly higher D values (p=0.025), and exhibited larger percent reductions in f and the product D*×f from the baseline (p=0.008 and <0.001, respectively). No additional information was provided by the examination at the end of treatment.
CONCLUSION: Pre-treatment and mid-treatment IVIM-DWI showed potential for prediction of treatment response of cervical LN in HNSCC patients.
- Journal Article