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Toward an optimal distribution of b values for intravoxel incoherent motion imaging

A. Lemke, B. Stieltjes, L. Schad and F. Laun

Magn Reson Imaging, 29 (6), pp.766-776

The intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) theory provides a framework for the separation of perfusion and diffusion effects in diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI). To measure the three free IVIM parameters, DWIs with several diffusion weightings b must be acquired. To date, the used b value distributions are chosen heuristically and vary greatly among researchers. In this work, optimal b value distributions for the three parameter fit are determined using Monte-Carlo simulations for the measurement of a low, medium and high IVIM perfusion regime. The first 16 b values of a b value distribution, which was optimized to be appropriate for all three regimes, are 0, 40, 1000, 240, 10, 750, 90, 390, 170, 10, 620, 210, 100, 0, 530 and 970 in units of seconds per square meter. This distribution performed well for all organs and outperformed a distribution frequently used in the literature. In case of limited acquisition time, the b values should be chosen in the given order, but at least 10 b values should be used for current clinical settings. The overall parameter estimation quality depends strongly and nonlinearly on the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): it is essential that the SNR is considerably higher than a critical SNR. This critical SNR is about 8 for medium and high IVIM perfusion and 50 for the low IVIM perfusion regime. Initial in vivo IVIM measurements were performed in the abdomen and were in keeping with the numerically simulated results.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 22.01.2019
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