The Intra-Voxel Incoherent Motion (IVIM) model is largely adopted to estimate slow and fast diffusion coefficients of water molecules in biological tissues, which are used in cancer applications. The most reported fitting approach is a voxel-wise segmented non-linear least square, whereas Bayesian approaches with a direct fit, also considering spatial regularization, were proposed too. In this work a novel segmented Bayesian method was proposed, also in combination with a spatial regularization through a Conditional Autoregressive (CAR) prior specification. The two segmented Bayesian approaches, with and without CAR specification, were compared with two standard least-square and a direct Bayesian fitting methods. All approaches were tested on simulated images and real data of patients with head-and-neck and rectal cancer. Estimation accuracy and maps noisiness were quantified on simulated images, whereas the coefficient of variation and the goodness of fit were evaluated for real data. Both versions of the segmented Bayesian approach outperformed the standard methods on simulated images for pseudo-diffusion (D∗ ) and perfusion fraction (f), whilst the segmented least-square fitting remained the less biased for the diffusion coefficient (D). On real data, Bayesian approaches provided the less noisy maps, and the two Bayesian methods without CAR generally estimated lower values for f and D∗ coefficients with respect to the other approaches. The proposed segmented Bayesian approaches were superior, in terms of estimation accuracy and maps quality, to the direct Bayesian model and the least-square fittings. The CAR method improved the estimation accuracy, especially for D∗ .
- Bayes Theorem
- Computer Simulation
- Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
- Time Factors