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Can Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) Distinguish Breast Cancer From Benign Breast Findings? A Meta-analysis Based On 13 847 Lesions

Alexey Surov, Hans Jonas Meyer, Andreas Wienke

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Abstract Background The purpose of the present meta-analysis was to provide evident data about use of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC) values for distinguishing malignant and benign breast lesions. Methods MEDLINE library and SCOPUS database were screened for associations between ADC and malignancy/benignancy of breast lesions up to December 2018. Overall, 123 items were identified. The following data were extracted from the literature: authors, year of publication, study design, number of patients/lesions, lesion type, mean value and standard deviation of ADC, measure method, b values, and Tesla strength. The methodological quality of the 123 studies was checked according to the QUADAS-2 instrument. The meta-analysis was undertaken by using RevMan 5.3 software. DerSimonian and Laird random-effects models with inverse-variance weights were used without any further correction to account for the heterogeneity between the studies. Mean ADC values including 95% confidence intervals were calculated separately for benign and malign lesions. Results The acquired 123 studies comprised 13,847 breast lesions. Malignant lesions were diagnosed in 10,622 cases (76.7%) and benign lesions in 3225 cases (23.3%). The mean ADC value of the malignant lesions was 1.03 × 10− 3 mm2/s and the mean value of the benign lesions was 1.5 × 10− 3 mm2/s. The calculated ADC values of benign lesions were over the value of 1.00 × 10− 3 mm2/s. This result was independent on Tesla strength, choice of b values, and measure methods (whole lesion measure vs estimation of ADC in a single area). Conclusion An ADC threshold of 1.00 × 10− 3 mm2/s can be recommended for distinguishing breast cancers from benign lesions.