MR Scanner Systems Should Be Adequately Characterized in Diffusion-MRI of the Breast
Traino, Antonio Claudio
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CitationGiannelli, Marco, Roberto Sghedoni, Chiara Iacconi, Mauro Iori, Antonio Claudio Traino, Maria Guerrisi, Mario Mascalchi, Nicola Toschi, and Stefano Diciotti. 2014. “MR Scanner Systems Should Be Adequately Characterized in Diffusion-MRI of the Breast.” PLoS ONE 9 (1): e86280. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086280.
AbstractBreast imaging represents a relatively recent and promising field of application of quantitative diffusion-MRI techniques. In view of the importance of guaranteeing and assessing its reliability in clinical as well as research settings, the aim of this study was to specifically characterize how the main MR scanner system-related factors affect quantitative measurements in diffusion-MRI of the breast. In particular, phantom acquisitions were performed on three 1.5 T MR scanner systems by different manufacturers, all equipped with a dedicated multi-channel breast coil as well as acquisition sequences for diffusion-MRI of the breast. We assessed the accuracy, inter-scan and inter-scanner reproducibility of the mean apparent diffusion coefficient measured along the main orthogonal directions (<ADC>) as well as of diffusion-tensor imaging (DTI)-derived mean diffusivity (MD) measurements. Additionally, we estimated spatial non-uniformity of <ADC> (NU<ADC>) and MD (NUMD) maps. We showed that the signal-to-noise ratio as well as overall calibration of high strength diffusion gradients system in typical acquisition sequences for diffusion-MRI of the breast varied across MR scanner systems, introducing systematic bias in the measurements of diffusion indices. While <ADC> and MD values were not appreciably different from each other, they substantially varied across MR scanner systems. The mean of the accuracies of measured <ADC> and MD was in the range [−2.3%,11.9%], and the mean of the coefficients of variation for <ADC> and MD measurements across MR scanner systems was 6.8%. The coefficient of variation for repeated measurements of both <ADC> and MD was < 1%, while NU<ADC> and NUMD values were <4%. Our results highlight that MR scanner system-related factors can substantially affect quantitative diffusion-MRI of the breast. Therefore, a specific quality control program for assessing and monitoring the performance of MR scanner systems for diffusion-MRI of the breast is highly recommended at every site, especially in multicenter and longitudinal studies.
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