For certain clinical circumstances, the differentiation between cerebellar medulloblastoma and brainstem glioma is essential. We aimed to evaluate the role played by the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values in the differentiation between cerebellar medulloblastomas and brainstem gliomas in children. The institutional review board approved this prospective study. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and ADC, was assessed in 32 patients (median age: 7.0 years), divided into two groups, a medulloblastoma group (group 1, n
= 22) and a brainstem glioma group (group 2, n
= 10). The Mann–Whitney U test was utilized to compare tumor ADCmax, ADCmin, ADCmean, and ADCsd values, and their ratios with the parenchyma values between the two groups. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis and the Youden index were used to calculate the cut-off value, along with the area under the curve (AUC), sensitivity, and specificity. The median ADCmax, ADCmin, and ADCmean values were significantly higher in group 2 than in group 1 (p
< 0.05). The median ratios of ADCmin and ADCmean to the parenchyma were significantly higher in group 2 than in group 1 (p
< 0.05). The ROC analysis showed that the AUC for the ADCmean ratio was the highest among these parameters, at 98.2%. The ADCmean tumor to parenchyma ratio was a significant and effective parameter for the differentiation between pediatric medulloblastomas and brainstem gliomas.
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