Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound | 2019

Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging is a feasible method for characterizing regional lymph nodes in canine patients with head and neck disease



In dogs diagnosed with solid tumors, regional lymph node involvement or evidence of distant metastasis can predict worse prognoses and significantly decreased survival. Lymph node size alone has been shown to be insufficient as a predictor for the accurate clinical staging of some canine neoplasia. However, certain regional lymph nodes (including those of the oral cavity) are difficult to access for routine tissue sampling. Diffusion weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has demonstrated the ability to differentiate metastatic from inflammatory/benign lymph nodes in clinical studies with human cancer patients through the calculation of quantitative values of diffusion termed apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC). The objective of this prospective, exploratory study was to evaluate diffusion-weighted MRI and ADC as potential methods for detecting metastatic lymph nodes in dogs with naturally occurring disease. We hypothesized that diffusion-weighted MRI would identify significantly different ADC values between benign and metastatic lymph nodes in a group of canine patients with head or neck disease. Our study population consisted of eight client-owned canine patients, with a total of 20 lymph nodes evaluated (six metastatic, 14 benign). Our results demonstrated that two of four observers identified a significant difference between the mean ADC values of the benign and metastatic lymph nodes. When data from all four observers were pooled, the difference between the mean apparent diffusion coefficients values of the benign and metastatic lymph nodes did not reach significance (P-value\xa0=\xa00.0566). Findings indicated that diffusion-weighted MRI is a feasible method for further characterizing enlarged lymph nodes in dogs with head and neck disease, however measured ADC values did not differ for benign vs. metastatic lymph nodes in this small sample of dogs.

Volume 60
Pages 176–183
DOI 10.1111/vru.12694
Language English
Journal Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound

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