Comparison and Optimization of 3.0 T Breast Images Quality of Diffusion-Weighted Imaging with Multiple B-Values

Acad Radiol. 2017 Apr;24(4):418-425. doi: 10.1016/j.acra.2016.11.006. Epub 2016 Dec 7.


Rationale and objectives: Breast 3.0 T magnetic resonance diffusion-weighted imaging (MR-DWI) of benign and malignant lesions were obtained to measure and calculate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), signal intensity ratio (SIR), and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) of lesions at different b-values. The variation patterns of SNR and SIR were analyzed with different b-values and the images of DWI were compared at four different b-values with higher image quality. The effect of SIR on the differential diagnostic efficiency of benign and malignant lesions was compared using receiver operating characteristic curves to provide a reference for selecting the optimal b-value.

Materials and methods: A total of 96 qualified patients with 112 lesions and 14 patients with their contralateral 14 normal breasts were included in this study. The single-shot echo planar imaging sequence was used to perform the DWI and a total of 13 b-values were used: 0, 50, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 1800, 2000, and 2500 s/mm2. On DWI, the suitable regions of interest were selected. The SNRs of normal breasts (SNRnormal), SNRlesions, SIR, and CNR of benign and malignant lesions were measured on DWI with different b-values and calculated. The variation patterns of SNR, SIR, and CNR values on DWI for normal breasts, benign lesions, and malignant lesions with different b-values were analyzed by using Pearson correlation analysis. The SNR and SIR of benign and malignant lesions with the same b-values were compared using t-tests. The diagnostic efficiencies of SIR with different b-values for benign and malignant lesions were evaluated using receiver operating characteristic curves.

Results: Breast DWI had higher CNR for b-values ranging from 600 to 1200 s/mm2. It had the best CNR at b = 1000 s/mm2 for the benign lesions and at b = 1200 s/mm2 for the malignant lesions. The signal intensity and SNR values of normal breasts decreased with increasing b-values, with a negative correlation (r = -0.945, P < 0.01). The mean SNR values of benign and malignant lesions were negatively correlated (r = -0.982 and -0.947, respectively, and P < 0.01), gradually decreasing with increasing b-values. The mean SIR value of benign lesions gradually decreased with increasing b-values, a negative correlation (r = -0.991, P < 0.01). The mean SIR values of malignant lesions gradually increased with increasing b-values between 0 and 1200 s/mm2, and gradually decreased with increasing b-values ≥ 1500 s/mm2. For b-values of 600, 800, 1000, and 1200 s/mm2, the sensitivity and specificity of SIR in identifying benign and malignant lesions gradually increased with increasing b-values, peaking at 1200 s/mm2.

Conclusions: Breast DWI had higher image quality for b-values ranging from 600 to 1200 s/mm2, and was best for b-values ranging from 1000 to 1200 s/mm2. The SIR had the highest diagnostic efficiency in differentiating benign and malignant lesions for a b-value of 1200 s/mm2.

Keywords: Breast; breast neoplasm; diffusion-weighted imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • China
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Echo-Planar Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal-To-Noise Ratio