Diffusion-weighted images offer diagnostic potential in abdomen

January 17, 2006

Parallel imaging has opened the door to diffusion-weighted imaging of the body. A diffusion-weighted transverse image of a rectal lesion (m-shaped dark area in top image) in an 83-year-old man corresponds to the pathological specimen (bottom image). Abnormal signal near the bladder (black dot upper middle of top image) is an artifact from the intestines.

Parallel imaging has opened the door to diffusion-weighted imaging of the body. A diffusion-weighted transverse image of a rectal lesion (m-shaped dark area in top image) in an 83-year-old man corresponds to the pathological specimen (bottom image). Abnormal signal near the bladder (black dot upper middle of top image) is an artifact from the intestines.

The diffusion-weighted image was obtained using Toshiba's version of parallel imaging, called SPEEDER, which achieves an in-plane isotropic resolution of 0.5 mm on an Excelart 1.5T Vantage system. The high-resolution map of the malignancy was generated by radiologists at Hasuda Hospital in Hasuda, Japan, using an eight-channel torso coil and a SPEEDER factor of 1.6. Data acquisition was performed in four minutes.

Japanese radiologists expect this application, when used in combination with T1- and T2-weighted imaging, to improve tumor detectability and contribute to the differential diagnosis of benign and malignant lesions. They have successfully applied diffusion-weighted imaging to the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, and lung cancer. (Provided by Dr. Shizuaki Maejima, Hasuda Hospital)