To perform a systematic review on apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values of renal tumor subtypes and meta-analysis on the diagnostic performance of ADC for differentiation of localized clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) from other renal tumor types.
Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Library databases were searched for studies published until May 1, 2019, that reported ADC values of renal tumors. Methodological quality was evaluated. For the meta-analysis on diagnostic test accuracy of ADC for differentiation of ccRCC from other renal lesions, we applied a bivariate random-effects model and compared two subgroups of ADC measurement with vs. without cystic and necrotic areas.
We included 48 studies (2588 lesions) in the systematic review and 13 studies (1126 lesions) in the meta-analysis. There was no significant difference in ADC of renal parenchyma using b values of 0-800 vs. 0-1000 (p = 0.08). ADC measured on selected portions (sADC) excluding cystic and necrotic areas differed significantly from whole-lesion ADC (wADC) (p = 0.002). Compared to ccRCC, minimal-fat angiomyolipoma, papillary RCC, and chromophobe RCC showed significantly lower sADC while oncocytoma exhibited higher sADC. Summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity to differentiate ccRCC from other tumors were 80% (95% CI, 0.76-0.88) and 78% (95% CI, 0.64-0.89), respectively, for sADC and 77% (95% CI, 0.59-0.90) and 77% (95% CI, 0.69-0.86) for wADC. sADC offered a higher area under the receiver operating characteristic curve than wADC (0.852 vs. 0.785, p = 0.02).
ADC values of kidney tumors that exclude cystic or necrotic areas more accurately differentiate ccRCC from other renal tumor types than whole-lesion ADC values.
• Selective ADC of renal tumors, excluding cystic and necrotic areas, provides better discriminatory ability than whole-lesion ADC to differentiate clear cell RCC from other renal lesions, with area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.852 vs. 0.785, respectively (p = 0.02). • Selective ADC of renal masses provides moderate sensitivity and specificity of 80% and 78%, respectively, for differentiation of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) from papillary RCC, chromophobe RCC, oncocytoma, and minimal-fat angiomyolipoma. • Selective ADC excluding cystic and necrotic areas are preferable to whole-lesion ADC as an additional tool to multiphasic MRI to differentiate clear cell RCC from other renal lesions whether the highest b value is 800 or 1000.