Original Article

Diffusion-Weighted Imaging of Breast Cancer: Correlation of the Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Value with Pathologic Prognostic Factors


  • Şehnaz Tezcan
  • Nihal Uslu
  • Funda Ulu Öztürk
  • Eda Yılmaz Akçay
  • Tugan Tezcaner

Received Date: 26.03.2019 Accepted Date: 24.06.2019 Eur J Breast Health 2019;15(4):262-267


The aim was to evaluate relationship between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values with pathologic prognostic factors in breast carcinoma (BC).

Materials and Methods:

83 patients were enrolled in this study. Prognostic factors included age, tumor size, expression of estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), nuclear grade (NG), lymph node involvement and histologic type. The relationship between ADC and prognostic factors was determined using Independent sample t-test, ANOVA, Pearson correlation and relative operating characteristics (ROC) analysis.


There was no significant difference between ADC and prognostic factors, including age, tumor size, ER, HER2 and histologic type. The PRpositive tumors (p=0.03) and axillary lymph node involvement (p=0.000) showed a significant association with lower ADC values. The ADC values were significantly lower in high-grade tumors than low-grade tumors (p=0.000). ROC analysis showed an optimal ADC threshold of 0.66 (×10-3 mm2/s) for differentiating low-grade tumors from high-grade tumors (sensitivity, 85.5%; specificity, 81%; area under curve, 0.90).


The lower ADC values of BC were significantly associated with positive expression of PR, LN positivity and high-grade tumor. Especially, ADC values were valuable in predicting NG subgroups

Keywords: Breast cancer, diffusion-weighted imaging, apparent diffusion coefficient, prognostic factors