To evaluate the predictive capability of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) at initial diagnosis in treatment-naive patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) for the development of future metastases.

Material and methods:
Magnetic resonance images of patients with pathologically proven non-metastatic, treatment-naive LSCC were retrospectively evaluated. Follow-up positron emission tomography scans were assessed for the scanning of metastases.

A total of 37 patients (32 males and 5 females) with a mean age of 62.8 ± 8.9 years were enrolled. Mean tumour volume and ADC were 4.8 ± 62 cm3 and 0.72 ± 0.51 × 10–3 mm2/s, respectively. Six local and 8 distant meta­stases were detected in a mean follow-up period of 17.5 ± 10.2 months. A significant association between ADC and the presence distant metastases (p = 0.046) and local metastases (p = 0.042) was found. The difference in mean ADC values between future metastatic and non-metastatic initial tumours was significant (p = 0.017).

Pre-treatment ADC values and volume of the initial tumour might provide early information about the development of future metastases in patients with LSCC in this series.

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