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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 6843053, 7 pages
Research Article

Apparent Diffusion Coefficient of Diffusion-Weighted Imaging in Evaluation of Cervical Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: An Observational Study with 3.0 T Magnetic Resonance Imaging

1Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China
2Department of Radiology, Navy General Hospital, Beijing, China
3Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, China
4Siemens Ltd., China Healthcare Sector MR Business Group, Beijing, China
5Experimental Trauma & Orthopedic Surgery, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
6Department of Orthopedics, The First Affiliated Hospital, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China
7Engineering Research Center of Clinical Functional Materials and Diagnosis & Treatment Devices of Zhejiang Province, Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering, Wenzhou, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Zhihua Han; moc.liamtoh@codhzh and Chun Chen; moc.361@kknuhcnehc

Received 29 September 2017; Revised 9 December 2017; Accepted 3 January 2018; Published 18 February 2018

Academic Editor: Jinyuan Zhou

Copyright © 2018 Pinjie Chen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. To investigate the correlation between the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value and cervical intervertebral disc degeneration in adult symptomatic patients. Methods. A total of 52 symptomatic and 40 healthy volunteers were included. DWI and routine MRI examinations were performed to their cervical spines. The cervical discs (from C2-C3 to C6-C7) were graded according to the Pfirrmann grading system, and ADC values of the nucleus pulposus (NP) were measured. Differences of the ADC values between different genders and anatomic levels were analyzed; the correlation between the ADC value and the Pfirrmann grade was investigated. The cut-off ADC values of each Pfirrmann grade were calculated. Results. The mean ADC value of the NP decreased with increasing Pfirrmann grade (I–V) upon both patients and asymptotic volunteers. The ADC value decreased descendingly from C2-C3 to C5-C6 () and then increased at C6-C7 (). Additionally, the comparison of the ADC values between different genders achieved statistical significance at each anatomical level (), except at C6-C7 (). Significant negative correlations between the ADC value and either age or Pfirrmann grade were observed. Conclusions. Our preliminary findings suggest that the ADC value obtained by DWI can provide a reliable indicator to evaluate the cervical disc degeneration.