J Korean Soc Radiol.  2021 Jan;82(1):29-48. 10.3348/jksr.2020.0215.

Diffusion-Weighted Imaging as a Stand-Alone Breast Imaging Modality

  • 1Department of Radiology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Radiology, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea


Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW MRI) is a fast unenhanced technique that shows promise as a stand-alone modality for cancer screening and characterization. Currently, DW MRI may have lower sensitivity than that of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI as a standalone modality for breast cancer detection but superior to that of mammography, which may provide a useful alternative for supplemental screening. Standardized acquisition and interpretation of DW MRI can improve the image quality and reduce the variability of the results. Furthermore, high-resolution DW MRI, with advanced techniques and postprocessing, will facilitate better detection and characterization of subcentimeter cancers and reduce false-negatives and false-positives. Future results from ongoing prospective multicenter clinical trials using standardized and optimized protocols will facilitate the use of DW MRI as a stand-alone modality.


Diffusion-Weighted Imaging; Breast Cancer; Screening
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