Introduction and aim: It is difficult to distinguish between non-functioning pituitary macroadenomas (NFPMAs) and sellar meningiomas because of their overlapping imaging manifestations on routine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), especially in cases of meningiomas growing into the saddle. Here, we aimed to differentiate between these two tumors using apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values and MRI characteristics.
Methods: A total of 60 NFPMA and 52 sellar meningioma cases confirmed by pathological analysis were retrospectively reviewed. All patients were examined via routine MRI and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) before undergoing surgery. The clinical, MRI characteristics, and max ADC (ADCmax), average ADC (ADCmean), and minimum ADC (ADCmin) values were compared between the two tumors via Chi-square test and two sample t-tests. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the discrimination ability.
Results: The ADCmax, ADCmean, and ADCmin values were significantly higher in NFPMAs compared to sellar meningiomas (p < 0.001 for all). Among ADC values, ADCmax demonstrated good performance with an AUC of 0.896 (95% CI, 0.823-0.969) and accuracy of 88.7%. A cut-off value of 0.97 × 10−3 mm2/s was used for ADCmax for differentiation between tumors. A combination of ADCmax values and clinicoradiological features showed the best discrimination ability for differential diagnosis between the two tumors, with an AUC of 0.981 (95% CI, 0.958-1.000) and accuracy of 96.9%.
Conclusion: A combination of ADCmax and clinicoradiological features demonstrates good discrimination ability and high accuracy for differentiation between NFPMAs and sellar meningiomas, and is a potential quantitative tool to aid in the selection of surgical techniques.