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Current Medical Imaging


ISSN (Print): 1573-4056
ISSN (Online): 1875-6603

Research Article

Potential Value of the Stretched Exponential and Fractional Order Calculus Model in Discriminating Between Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma: An Animal Experiment of Orthotopic Xenograft Nude Mice

Author(s): Jinhuan Xie, Chenhui Li, Yidi Chen, Huiting Zhang, Huashan Lin, Guang Yang and Liling Long*

Volume 20, 2024

Published on: 03 April, 2023

Article ID: e220323214867 Pages: 11

DOI: 10.2174/1573405619666230322123117



Background: In clinical practice, Preoperative differentiation between hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is challenging but critical for treatment decisions.

Objective: This study investigated the discriminatory power of the stretched-exponential model and fractional-order calculus model parameters for hepatocellular carcinoma versus intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in orthotopic xenograft nude mice.

Methods: Prototype orthotopic xenograft models of hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma were developed using 20 nude mice divided into two groups and separately transplanted with MHCC97H and HUCCT1 cells. Readout-segmented diffusion-weighted imaging with multiple b-values (0-2000 s/mm2) was obtained using a 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The apparent diffusion coefficient was calculated using the mono-exponential model. The distributed diffusion coefficient and intravoxel water molecular diffusion heterogeneity (α) were calculated using the stretched-exponential model. The diffusion coefficient (D), fractional-order derivative in space (β), and spatial parameter (μ) were calculated using the fractional-order calculus model. The liver and tumor specimens of nude mice were immunostained after euthanasia to clarify the liver cancer type. Differences in diffusion-related parameters between the groups were evaluated using Mann-Whitney U-test and univariate logistic analysis. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess the diagnostic efficacy of each parameter. P<0.05 was deemed significant.

Results: α, D, and β were significant discriminators between the groups. The area under the curve for these three variables was 0.890, 0.830, and 0.870, respectively, with cutoff values of 0.491, 0.435, and 0.782, respectively.

Conclusion: The stretched-exponential model parameters α and the fractional-order calculus model parameters D and β showed high diagnostic efficacy in discriminating intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma from hepatocellular carcinoma in orthotopic xenograft nude mouse models.

Keywords: Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Cholangiocarcinoma, Animal models, Differential diagnosis, Stretched exponential model, Fractional order calculus model.

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