Role of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of vertebral bone marrow lesions
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Department of Radiology, Guru Gobind Singh (GGS) Medical College and Hospital, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, India
Department of Radiodiagnosis and Imaging, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences, India
Department of Orthopaedics, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences
Submission date: 2020-01-03
Final revision date: 2020-03-09
Acceptance date: 2020-03-10
Publication date: 2020-05-04
Pol J Radiol, 2020; 85: 215-223
To evaluate the role of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) in differentiating vertebral marrow pathologies. To determine the sensitivity, specificity, and threshold apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values that can aid in the differentiation of malignant from benign bone marrow lesions.

Material and methods:
This observational study included 100 patients, who underwent MRI examination with a 1.5 Tesla scanner. The ADC values of normal and pathological vertebrae were estimated, and the threshold ADC values were computed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. The results were correlated with histopathological diagnosis, clinical follow-up, and other investigations. Statistical analysis was done by employing unpaired two-tailed Student’s t-test and the p-value of < 0.05 was deemed as statistically significant.

Vertebral bone marrow lesions had a male predominance and there was a predilection towards thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, with L4 being the commonest. Metastasis was the commonest lesion, followed by spondylodiscitis. The mean ADC value of benign pathologies was significantly greater than malignant pathologies (p < 0.05). The threshold value for the demarcation between benign and malignant pathologies was computed to be 1.21 × 10-3 mm2/s. DW imaging had sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 92.31%, positive predictive value of 87.5%, and negative predictive value of 100%.

Vertebral marrow lesions can be differentiated as benign or malignant with good sensitivity and specificity with the help of DW-ADC maps.

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