Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using multishot PROPELLER for diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of the abdomen.
Materials and methods: Diffusion-weighted abdominal imaging was performed in 9 healthy volunteers and 3 patients using both single-shot DW-SE-EPI and multishot DW-PROPELLER (BLADE sequence). We compared ADC measurements in phantoms, liver and pancreatic tissues and performed qualitative comparisons of the diffusion-weighted images and ADC maps provided by these 2 techniques.
Results: DW-PROPELLER significantly improved image quality (P < 0.05) with reduced geometric distortion and artifact. The ADC values of phantoms and abdominal organs measured by DW-PROPELLER were generally greater than those measured by single-shot DW-SE-EPI. The ADC values measured by both DWI techniques were significantly different for liver tissues but not for pancreatic tissues (P < 0.05). Preliminary patient studies demonstrated clearly distinguished lesion areas from surrounding normal liver tissues in the DW-PROPELLER images. DW-PROPELLER offers the potential for high-resolution DWI of the abdomen.
Conclusions: The multishot DW-PROPELLER sequence is a promising technique for DWI of abdominal organs. Future clinical studies will evaluate the use of DW-PROPELLER technique for abdominal oncologic imaging applications.