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DWI of the breast at 3.0T

Case Study
Chenevert, Thomas, Ph.D. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan
Daly, Caroline, M.D. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan
Ivancevic, Marko Philips Healthcare

In diffusion-weighted MR images tissue contrast is based on water mobility properties. It is particularly used for visualization of lesions that alter water mobility relative to surrounding tissues.


At the University of Michigan we recently introduced diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to our 3.0T breast MR examination protocol consisting of T1- and T2-weighted sequences and a

dynamic 3D T1 gradient echo sequence.

The diffusion-weighted sequence

The diffusion sequence is evaluated as an efficient way to localize the area of suspicion by way of reduced water mobility secondary to increased cellular density, thereby appearing hyperintense on DWI.


The sequence used is an axial 2D singleshot EPI with b factors 0 and 800, 2.5 mm isotropic voxel size, SENSE factor 3, SPAIR fat suppression, 4 averages and a total scan time of 5:23 min. Scanning is currently performed using the 7-channel SENSE Breast coil.

Higher channel coils, such as 16-channel SENSE Breast coil, would allow higher SENSE factor for reduced distortion. The isotropic voxels allow for reformatting and MIP display in arbitrary planes.

Results in 47-year-old patient with a malignant lesion

The figure shows a 47-year-old patient with a malignant lesion in the right breast visible on T1- and T2-weighted images. The lesion is also well depicted on the high b-value DWI axial image and the sagittal reformat of the low b-value.


DWI of the breast at 3.0T has clinical potential in the applications of lesion visualization in high-risk patient imaging, diagnostic follow-up and problem solving, as well as assessment of response in women undergoing neoadjuvant treatment.



T1-weighted                                                          T2-weighted


DWI (b=800)                                                         Sagittal reformat of DWI (b=0)

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Apr 15, 2010

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Case Study
Achieva 3.0T
Release 2
3T, Body, Breast, Women's health

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