Oncologic applications of diffusion-weighted MRI in the body

The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA.
Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Impact Factor: 2.79). 02/2012; 35(2):257-79. DOI: 10.1002/jmri.22786
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diffusion-weighted MRI (DWI) allows the detection of malignancies in the abdomen and pelvis. Lesion detection and characterization using DWI largely depends on the increased cellularity of solid or cystic lesions compared with the surrounding tissue. This increased cellularity leads results in restricted diffusion as indicated by reduction in the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). Low pretreatment ADC values of several malignancies have been shown to be predictive of better outcome. DWI can assess response to systemic or regional treatment of cancer at a cellular level and will therefore detect successful treatment earlier than anatomical measures. In this review, we provide a brief technical overview of DWI, discuss quantitative image analysis approaches, and review studies which have used DWI for the purpose of detection and characterization of malignancies as well as the early prediction of treatment response.

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