Journal Article
. 2019 Oct;19(1).
doi: 10.1186/s12885-019-6201-4.

Can apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) distinguish breast cancer from benign breast findings? A meta-analysis based on 13 847 lesions

Alexey Surov 1 Hans Jonas Meyer 2 Andreas Wienke 3 
  • PMID: 31615463
  •     146 References
  •     7 citations


Background: The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to provide evident data about use of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) values for distinguishing malignant and benign breast lesions.

Methods: MEDLINE library and SCOPUS database were screened for associations between ADC and malignancy/benignancy of breast lesions up to December 2018. Overall, 123 items were identified. The following data were extracted from the literature: authors, year of publication, study design, number of patients/lesions, lesion type, mean value and standard deviation of ADC, measure method, b values, and Tesla strength. The methodological quality of the 123 studies was checked according to the QUADAS-2 instrument. The meta-analysis was undertaken by using RevMan 5.3 software. DerSimonian and Laird random-effects models with inverse-variance weights were used without any further correction to account for the heterogeneity between the studies. Mean ADC values including 95% confidence intervals were calculated separately for benign and malign lesions.

Results: The acquired 123 studies comprised 13,847 breast lesions. Malignant lesions were diagnosed in 10,622 cases (76.7%) and benign lesions in 3225 cases (23.3%). The mean ADC value of the malignant lesions was 1.03 × 10- 3 mm2/s and the mean value of the benign lesions was 1.5 × 10- 3 mm2/s. The calculated ADC values of benign lesions were over the value of 1.00 × 10- 3 mm2/s. This result was independent on Tesla strength, choice of b values, and measure methods (whole lesion measure vs estimation of ADC in a single area).

Conclusion: An ADC threshold of 1.00 × 10- 3 mm2/s can be recommended for distinguishing breast cancers from benign lesions.

Keywords: ADC; Breast cancer; MRI.

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