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Agreement and Reproducibility of Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Measurements of Dual-b-Value and Multi-b-Value Diffusion-Weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging at 1.5 Tesla in Phantom and in Soft Tissues of the Abdomen

Corona-Villalobos, Celia Pamela MD*; Pan, Li PhD*†; Halappa, Vivek Gowdra MD*; Bonekamp, Susanne PhD*; Lorenz, Christine H. PhD*†; Eng, John MD*; Kamel, Ihab R. MD, PhD*

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January/February 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 1 - p 46–51
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182720e07
Abdominal Imaging

Objective: To compare the coefficient of variation (CV) and long-term reproducibility of apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in a simple fluid-filled phantom and abdominal organs simultaneously.

Materials and Methods: Retrospective institutional review board–approved and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act–compliant study sequentially selected 100 patients who underwent clinically indicated abdominal magnetic resonance imaging. A subset of 58 patients had repeat scans within 2 to 5 months after the initial magnetic resonance imaging. Two diffusion-weighted imaging techniques (b-values 0–750 mm2/s) were performed to compare the ADC values. Mean ADC values were calculated for 10 locations and the reference phantom. The CV and Bland-Altman plots were calculated for the phantom and soft tissues at each session and location.

Results: There were no significant differences in the mean ADC values between repeated acquisitions. However, ADC values were statistically higher using dual-b-value than multi-b-value diffusion-weighted imaging. The CV for the phantom was 8.6 versus 10.8 for dual-b-value and multi-b-value, respectively. The CVs for the soft tissues had a wider range compared with that of the phantom (liver, 12.6 vs 9.0; spleen, 11.7 vs 11.2; gallbladder, 11.0 vs 13.6; head of pancreas, 14.6 vs 14.7; body of pancreas, 13.4 vs 13.0; tail of pancreas, 14.8 vs 16.3; right kidney, 9.1 vs 9.6; left kidney, 9.3 vs 9.3; right paraspinal muscle, 7.9 vs 7.5; left paraspinal muscle, 7.3 vs 7.3, respectively).

Conclusions: A change in ADC less than 11% falls into the range of measurement variability. Paraspinal muscle could potentially be used as an internal reference parameter.

From the *The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Johns Hopkins University; and †Center for Applied Medical Imaging, Siemens Corporate Research, Baltimore, MD.

Received for publication July 6, 2012; accepted August 30, 2012.

Reprints: Ihab R. Kamel, MD, PhD, Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University, 600 N. Wolfe St, Nelson Basement MRI 143, Baltimore, MD 21287 (e-mail:

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.