Intravoxel incoherent motion MRI as a biomarker of sorafenib treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma: a pilot study
PURPOSE To evaluate the effect of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) methods, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) calculation methods, and selection of b-values on the ADCs and the measurement reproducibility of malignant hepatic tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS Nineteen patients with pathologically confirmed malignant hepatic tumors underwent breath-hold DWI (b-values = 0, 50, 500 s/mm(2)) and respiratory-triggered DWI (0, 50, 300, 500, 1000 s/mm(2)) twice on a 1.5 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. ADCs were calculated using a two b-value and/or a multiple b-value method. The reproducibility of the ADC measurements was evaluated from the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and the 95% Bland-Altman limit-of-agreement (LOA). RESULTS The ADCs were different according to the DWI methods (P = 0.040-0.282), ADC calculation methods (P = 0.003-0.825), and the choice of b-values (P < 0.001). The ADC tended to be more reproducible with use of breath-hold DWI (ICC: 0.898-0.933; LOA, 18.8%-24.0%) than respiratory-triggered DWI (ICC: 0.684-0.928; LOA, 15.0%-31.9%) (P = 0.008-0.122). For respiratory-triggered DWI, the multiple b-value method using five b-values had better reproducibility than the two b-value method for measurement of ADC (P = 0.009-0.221). CONCLUSION The DWI method, ADC calculation method, and selection of b-values potentially influence the ADCs and the reproducibility of malignant hepatic tumors. ADCs calculated from breath-hold DWI are more reproducible than from respiratory-triggered DWI. A multiple b-value method may improve the reproducibility of respiratory-triggered DWI.