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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Repeatability and Reproducibility of ADC Histogram Metrics from the ACRIN 6698 Breast Cancer Therapy Response Trial.

  • Author(s): Newitt, David C
  • Amouzandeh, Ghoncheh
  • Partridge, Savannah C
  • Marques, Helga S
  • Herman, Benjamin A
  • Ross, Brian D
  • Hylton, Nola M
  • Chenevert, Thomas L
  • Malyarenko, Dariya I
  • et al.

Mean tumor apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of breast cancer showed excellent repeatability but only moderate predictive power for breast cancer therapy response in the ACRIN 6698 multicenter imaging trial. Previous single-center studies have shown improved predictive performance for alternative ADC histogram metrics related to low ADC dense tumor volume. Using test/retest (TT/RT) 4 b-value diffusion-weighted imaging acquisitions from pretreatment or early-treatment time-points on 71 ACRIN 6698 patients, we evaluated repeatability for ADC histogram metrics to establish confidence intervals and inform predictive models for future therapy response analysis. Histograms were generated using regions of interest (ROIs) defined separately for TT and RT diffusion-weighted imaging. TT/RT repeatability and intra- and inter-reader reproducibility (on a 20-patient subset) were evaluated using wCV and Bland-Altman limits of agreement for histogram percentiles, low-ADC dense tumor volumes, and fractional volumes (normalized to total histogram volume). Pearson correlation was used to reveal connections between metrics and ROI variability across the sample cohort. Low percentiles (15th and 25th) were highly repeatable and reproducible, wCV < 8.1%, comparable to mean ADC values previously reported. Volumetric metrics had higher wCV values in all cases, with fractional volumes somewhat better but at least 3 times higher than percentile wCVs. These metrics appear most sensitive to ADC changes around a threshold of 1.2 μm2/ms. Volumetric results were moderately to strongly correlated with ROI size. In conclusion, Lower histogram percentiles have comparable repeatability to mean ADC, while ADC-thresholded volumetric measures currently have poor repeatability but may benefit from improvements in ROI techniques.

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