Clinical research using restricted diffusion-weighted imaging, especially diffusion kurtosis (DK) imaging, has been progressing, with reports on its effectiveness in the diagnostic imaging of cerebral infarctions, neurodegenerative diseases, and tumors, among others. However, the application of DK imaging in daily clinical practice has not spread because of the long imaging time required and the use of specific software for image creation. Herein, with the aim of promoting clinical research using DK imaging at any medical facility, we evaluated fast DK imaging using a new software program. We developed a new macro program that produces DK images using general-purpose, inexpensive software (Microsoft Excel and ImageJ), and we evaluated fast DK imaging using bio-phantoms and a healthy volunteer in clinical trials. The DK images created by the new software with diffusion-weighted images captured with short-time imaging sequences were similar to the original DK images captured with long-time imaging sequences. The DK images using three b-values, which can reduce the imaging time by 43%, were equivalent to the DK images using five b-values. The DK imaging technique developed herein might allow any medical facility to increase its daily clinical use of DK imaging and easily conduct clinical research.
Keywords: Excel; ImageJ; fast diffusion kurtosis imaging; mean kurtosis; restricted diffusion.