Korean J Radiol.  2020 Sep;21(9):1036-1044. 10.3348/kjr.2019.0568.

Feasibility Study of Synthetic Diffusion-Weighted MRIin Patients with Breast Cancer in Comparison withConventional Diffusion-Weighted MRI

  • 1Department of Radiology, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Korea
  • 2Department of Radiology, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
  • 3Department of Surgery, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine, Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, Korea


To investigate the clinical feasibility of synthetic diffusion-weighted imaging (sDWI) at different b-values in patientswith breast cancer by assessing the diagnostic image quality and the quantitative measurements compared with conventionaldiffusion-weighted imaging (cDWI).
Materials and Methods
Fifty patients with breast cancer were assessed using cDWI at b-values of 800 and 1500 s/mm2 (cDWI800and cDWI1500) and sDWI at b-values of 1000 and 1500 s/mm2 (sDWI1000 and sDWI1500). Qualitative analysis (normal glandulartissue suppression, overall image quality, and lesion conspicuity) was performed using a 4-point Likert-scale for all DWI setsand the cancer detection rate (CDR) was calculated. We also evaluated cancer-to-parenchyma contrast ratios for each DWI setin 45 patients with the lesion identified on any of the DWI sets. Statistical comparisons were performed using Friedman test,one-way analysis of variance, and Cochran’s Q test.
All parameters of qualitative analysis, cancer-to-parenchyma contrast ratios, and CDR increased with increasingb-values, regardless of the type of imaging (synthetic or conventional) (p< 0.001). Additionally, sDWI1500 provided better lesionconspicuity than cDWI1500 (3.52 ± 0.92 vs. 3.39 ± 0.90, p< 0.05). Although cDWI1500 showed better normal glandular tissuesuppression and overall image quality than sDWI1500 (3.66 ± 0.78 and 3.73 ± 0.62 vs. 3.32 ± 0.90 and 3.35 ± 0.81, respectively;p< 0.05), there was no significant difference in their CDR (90.0%). Cancer-to-parenchyma contrast ratios were greater insDWI1500 than in cDWI1500 (0.63 ± 0.17 vs. 0.55 ± 0.18, p< 0.001).
sDWI1500 can be feasible for evaluating breast cancers in clinical practice. It provides higher tumor conspicuity,better cancer-to-parenchyma contrast ratio, and comparable CDR when compared with cDWI1500.


Breast cancer; b-value; Diffusion-weighted imaging; MRI; Synthetic MRI
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