BMC Med Imaging. 2023 Jan 25;23(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s12880-023-00968-w.
BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used for the diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and occipital clivus (OC) invasion, but a proportion of lesions may be missed using non-enhanced MRI. The purpose of this study is to investigate the diagnostic performance of synthetic magnetic resonance imaging (SyMRI) in differentiating NPC from nasopharyngeal hyperplasia (NPH), as well as evaluating OC invasion.
METHODS: Fifty-nine patients with NPC and 48 volunteers who underwent SyMRI examination were prospectively enrolled. Eighteen first-order features were extracted from VOIs (primary tumours, benign mucosa, and OC). Statistical comparisons were conducted between groups using the independent-samples t-test and the Mann-Whitney U test to select significant parameters. Multiple diagnostic models were then constructed using multivariate logistic analysis. The diagnostic performance of the models was calculated by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis and compared using the DeLong test. Bootstrap and 5-folds cross-validation were applied to avoid overfitting.
RESULTS: The T1, T2 and PD map-derived models had excellent diagnostic performance in the discrimination between NPC and NPH in volunteers, with area under the curves (AUCs) of 0.975, 0.972 and 0.986, respectively. Besides, SyMRI models also showed excellent performance in distinguishing OC invasion from non-invasion (AUC: 0.913-0.997). Notably, the T1 map-derived model showed the highest diagnostic performance with an AUC, sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 0.997, 96.9%, 97.9% and 97.5%, respectively. By using 5-folds cross-validation, the bias-corrected AUCs were 0.965-0.984 in discriminating NPC from NPH and 0.889-0.975 in discriminating OC invasion from OC non-invasion.
CONCLUSIONS: SyMRI combined with first-order parameters showed excellent performance in differentiating NPC from NPH, as well as discriminating OC invasion from non-invasion.