TOMOGRAPHY, December 2016, Volume 2, Issue 4:411-420
Comparison Between 3-Scan Trace and Diagonal Body Diffusion-Weighted Imaging Acquisitions: A Phantom and Volunteer Study
Diagonal diffusion-weighted imaging (dDWI) uses simultaneous maximized application of 3 orthogonal gradient systems as opposed to sequential acquisition in 3 directions in conventional 3-scan trace DWI (tDWI). Several theoretical advantages of dDWI vs. tDWI include reduced artifacts and increased sharpness. We compared apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) quantification and image quality between monopolar dDWI and tDWI in a dedicated diffusion phantom (b = 0/500/900/2000 s/mm2) and in the abdomen (b = 50/ 400/800 s/mm2) and pelvis (b = 50/1000/1600 s/mm2) of 2 male volunteers at 1.5 T and 3.0 T. Phantom estimated signal-to-noise ratio (eSNR) was also measured. Two independent observers assessed the image quality on a 5-point scale. In the phantom, image quality was similar between tDWI and dDWI, with equivalent ADC quantification (mean coefficient of variation [CV] between sequences: 1.4% ± 1.2% at 1.5 T and 0.7% ± 0.7% at 3.0 T). Phantom eSNR was similar for both tDWI and dDWI, except for a significantly lower eSNR for b900 of dDWI at 3.0 T (P = .006). In the volunteers, the CV values between tDWI and dDWI were higher than those in the phantom (CV range: abdominal organs, 1.3%–13.3%; pelvic organs, 0.6%–5.7%). A trend toward significant better image quality for dDWI compared with tDWI was observed for b800 (abdomen) at 3.0 T and for b1000 and b1600 (pelvis) at 1.5 T (P = .063 to .066). Our data suggest that dDWI may provide better image quality than tDWI without affecting ADC quantification, needing confirmation in a future clinical study.