Quantitative Assessment of Skull-Base Invasion in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients with Signal Intensity Index Based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Yi-Zhuo Li, Chuan-Miao Xie, Yao-Pan Wu, Chun-Yan Cui, Zi-Lin Huang, Ci-Yong Lu, Pei-Hong Wu


Purpose: To evaluate the use of signal intensity index (SII) of skull-base invasion in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), select a best cut-off SII value to predict the outcome of NPC.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and twenty-two NPC patients (92 men, 30 women) with skull-base invasion were included. All patients underwent MRI, signal intensities on T1-weighted imaging (T1WI) were measured for each invaded site and its contralateral normal counterpart. The SIIs were calculated, receiver operating characteristic curves were constructed. The optimal cut-off values were extracted. The overall survival (OS) rates of 5-year follow-up were performed.
Results: Sensitivities for differentiating skull-base invasion from normal contralateral anatomy were 98.9%, 88.5% and 70.0%, and specificities were 98.9%, 96.0% and 74.4%, respectively. There were three cut-off values for differentiating invasion from normal anatomy of skull-base, 49%, 98%, and 60%. Significant difference in OS rates (84.2% vs. 57.1%, p=0.007) was seen for SII threshold values > 60% and those ≤ 60%.
Conclusions: The SII might be a useful means of differentiating invasion from normal tissue at the skull-base in NPC. The cut-off value of quantitative SII at the skull-base may aid in monitoring the response to treatment of NPC patients.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15383/jnpc.25


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