Multishot Diffusion-Weighted MRI of the Breast With Multiplexed Sensitivity Encoding (MUSE) and Shot Locally Low-Rank (Shot-LLR) Reconstructions

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2021 Mar;53(3):807-817. doi: 10.1002/jmri.27383. Epub 2020 Oct 16.


Background: Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has shown promise to screen for breast cancer without a contrast injection, but image distortion and low spatial resolution limit standard single-shot DWI. Multishot DWI methods address these limitations but introduce shot-to-shot phase variations requiring correction during reconstruction.

Purpose: To investigate the performance of two multishot DWI reconstruction methods, multiplexed sensitivity encoding (MUSE) and shot locally low-rank (shot-LLR), compared to single-shot DWI in the breast.

Study type: Prospective.

Population: A total of 45 women who consented to have multishot DWI added to a clinically indicated breast MRI.

Field strength/sequences: Single-shot DWI reconstructed by parallel imaging, multishot DWI with four or eight shots reconstructed by MUSE and shot-LLR, 3D T2 -weighted imaging, and contrast-enhanced MRI at 3T.

Assessment: Three blinded observers scored images for 1) general image quality (perceived signal-to-noise ratio [SNR], ghosting, distortion), 2) lesion features (discernment and morphology), and 3) perceived resolution. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of the lesion was also measured and compared between methods.

Statistical tests: Image quality features and perceived resolution were assessed with a mixed-effects logistic regression. Agreement among observers was estimated with a Krippendorf's alpha using linear weighting. Lesion feature ratings were visualized using histograms, and correlation coefficients of lesion ADC between different methods were calculated.

Results: MUSE and shot-LLR images were rated to have significantly better perceived resolution (P < 0.001), higher SNR (P < 0.005), and a lower level of distortion (P < 0.05) with respect to single-shot DWI. Shot-LLR showed reduced ghosting artifacts with respect to both MUSE (P < 0.001) and single-shot DWI (P < 0.001). Eight-shot DWI had improved perceived SNR and perceived resolution with respect to four-shot DWI (P < 0.005).

Data conclusion: Multishot DWI enables increased resolution and improved image quality with respect to single-shot DWI in the breast. Shot-LLR reconstructs multishot DWI with minimal ghosting artifacts. The improvement of multishot DWI in image quality increases with an increased number of shots.

Level of evidence: 2 TECHNICAL EFFICACY STAGE: 2.

Keywords: breast cancer; diffusion-weighted imaging; locally low-rank; multishot DWI; noncontrast-enhanced imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Artifacts
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Echo-Planar Imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results