MR scanner systems should be adequately characterized in diffusion-MRI of the breast

Marco Giannelli, Roberto Sghedoni, Chiara Iacconi, Mauro Iori, Antonio Claudio Traino, Maria Guerrisi, Mario Mascalchi, Nicola Toschi, Stefano Diciotti

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Breast imaging represents a relatively recent and promising field of application of quantitative diffusion-MRI techniques. In view of the importance of guaranteeing and assessing its reliability in clinical as well as research settings, the aim of this study was to specifically characterize how the main MR scanner system-related factors affect quantitative measurements in diffusion-MRI of the breast. In particular, phantom acquisitions were performed on three 1.5 T MR scanner systems by different manufacturers, all equipped with a dedicated multi-channel breast coil as well as acquisition sequences for diffusion-MRI of the breast. We assessed the accuracy, inter-scan and inter-scanner reproducibility of the mean apparent diffusion coefficient measured along the main orthogonal directions (〈ADC〉) as well as of diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI)-derived mean diffusivity (MD) measurements. Additionally, we estimated spatial non-uniformity of 〈ADC〉 (NU 〈ADC〉) and MD (NUMD) maps. We showed that the signal-to-noise ratio as well as overall calibration of high strength diffusion gradients system in typical acquisition sequences for diffusion-MRI of the breast varied across MR scanner systems, introducing systematic bias in the measurements of diffusion indices. While 〈ADC〉 and MD values were not appreciably different from each other, they substantially varied across MR scanner systems. The mean of the accuracies of measured 〈ADC〉 and MD was in the range [-2.3%,11.9%], and the mean of the coefficients of variation for 〈ADC〉 and MD measurements across MR scanner systems was 6.8%. The coefficient of variation for repeated measurements of both 〈ADC〉 and MD was <1%, while NU〈ADC〉 and NUMD values were

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86280
JournalPLoS One
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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