Correlation between functional imaging markers derived from diffusion-weighted MRI and 18 F-FDG PET/CT in esophageal cancer

Lucas Goense*, Sophie E. Heethuis, Peter S.N. Van Rossum, Francine E.M. Voncken, Jan J.W. Lagendijk, Marnix G.E.H. Lam, Chris H. Terhaard, Richard Van Hillegersberg, Jelle P. Ruurda, Stella Mook, Astrid L.H.M.W. Van Lier, Steven H. Lin, Gert J. Meijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Objective Both the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) acquired by diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) and the standardized uptake value (SUV), acquired by 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18 F-FDG PET/CT), are well-established functional parameters in cancer imaging. Currently, it is unclear whether these two markers provide complementary prognostic and predictive information in esophageal cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between ADC and SUV in patients with esophageal cancer. Materials and methods This prospective study included 76 patients with histologically proven esophageal cancer who underwent both DW-MRI and 18 F-FDG PET/CT examinations before treatment. The minimum and mean ADC values (ADC min and ADC mean) of the primary tumor were assessed on MRI. Similarly, the glucose metabolism was evaluated by the maximum and mean SUV (SUV max and SUV mean) in the same lesions on 18 F-FDG PET/CT images. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients were used to assess the correlation between tumor ADC and SUV values. Results The tumor ADC and SUV values as measures of cell density and glucose metabolism, respectively, showed negligible nonsignificant correlations (ADC min vs. SUV max: r=-0.087, P=0.457; ADC min vs. SUV mean: r=-0.105, P=0.369; ADC mean vs. SUV max: r=-0.099, P=0.349; ADC mean vs. SUV mean: r=-0.111, P=0.340). No differences in tumor ADC and SUV values were observed between the different histologic tumor types, stages, and differentiation grades. Conclusion This study indicates that tumor cellularity derived from DW-MRI and tumor metabolism measured by 18 F-FDG PET/CT are independent cellular phenomena in newly diagnosed esophageal cancer. Therefore, tumor ADC and SUV values may play complementary roles as imaging markers in the prediction of survival and evaluation of response to treatment in esophageal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-67
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Medicine Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography
  • apparent diffusion coefficient
  • diffusion-weighted imaging
  • esophageal cancer
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • standardized uptake value
  • computed tomography
  • F-18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography


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