Application of intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging in hepatocellular carcinoma

World J Gastroenterol. 2022 Jul 21;28(27):3334-3345. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v28.i27.3334.


The morbidity and mortality of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) rank 6th and 4th, respectively, among malignant tumors worldwide. Traditional diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) uses the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) obtained by applying the monoexponential model to reflect water molecule diffusion in active tissue; however, the value of ADC is affected by microcirculation perfusion. Using a biexponential model, intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM)-DWI quantitatively measures information related to pure water molecule diffusion and microcirculation perfusion, thus compensating for the shortcomings of DWI. The number of studies examining the application of IVIM-DWI in patients with HCC has gradually increased over the last few years, and many results show that IVIM-DWI has vital value for HCC differentiation, pathological grading, and predicting and evaluating the treatment response. The present study principally reviews the principle of IVIM-DWI and its research progress in HCC differentiation, pathological grading, predicting and evaluating the treatment response, predicting postoperative recurrence and predicting gene expression prediction.

Keywords: Differentiation; Gene expression; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Intravoxel incoherent motion; Pathological grading; Treatment response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / pathology
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Liver Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Liver Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Water


  • Water