Quantitative Evaluation for Differential Diagnosis of Breast Lesions in Diffusion-Weighted MR Imaging

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Health and Technology


Diffusion-weighted MR Imaging is a rapidly emerging technique, that allows in-vivo mapping processes of the water diffusion in tissues. It has the potential capabilities for clinical application in breast imaging. The aim of this study was to find out the optimal b-value for calculation of ADC value for differential diagnosis of breast lesions. A total of 124 subjects (mean age 46 years) with 141 lesions were included. The protocol consists of axial T2 sequence for lesion localization and measurement and DW sequence with three sets of b-values of 0, 300, 600, and 1000 s/mm2. The mean ADC values of the breast lesions for b-values (0, 300, 600, and 1000) were 1.75 ± 0.18 × 10−3mm2/sec, 1.66 ± 0.12 × 10−3mm2/sec and 1.57 ± 0.15 × 10−3mm2/sec for the benign lesions and 1.26 ± 0.048 × 10−3mm2/sec, 1.14 ± 0.11 × 10−3mm2/sec and 0.93 ± 0.14 × 10−3mm2/sec for malignant lesions respectively. Statistical significant differences were noted on the ADC value of benign and malignant lesions among the three sets of b values (p = 0.001). ADC values of malignant lesion was significantly lower compared to benign lesions. The AUC (0.998) was substantially large for b-value of 0,600 s/mm2 with a threshold ADC cut off value of 1.28 × 10−3mm2/sec with 98.4% sensitivity, 93.2% specificity and 98.5% positive predictive value(PPV). In conclusion, diffusion weighted imaging has the ability for differential diagnosis of breast lesions with the optimal b value of 0,600 s/ mm2. DWI is a reliable tool for characterising breast lesions and may increase the overall specificity of breast MRI.

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