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Eur Radiol. 2004 Mar;14(3):425-30. Epub 2003 Nov 14.

Reproducibility of brain ADC histograms.

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Department of Radiology, C2S, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, The Netherlands.


The aim of this study was to assess the effect of differences in acquisition technique on whole-brain apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) histogram parameters, as well as to assess scan-rescan reproducibility. Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) was performed in 7 healthy subjects with b-values 0-800, 0-1000, and 0-1500 s/mm(2) and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) DWI with b-values 0-1000 s/mm(2). All sequences were repeated with and without repositioning. The peak location, peak height, and mean ADC of the ADC histograms and mean ADC of a region of interest (ROI) in the white matter were compared using paired-sample t tests. Scan-rescan reproducibility was assessed using paired-sample t tests, and repeatability coefficients were reported. With increasing maximum b-values, ADC histograms shifted to lower values, with an increase in peak height ( p<0.01). With FLAIR DWI, the ADC histogram shifted to lower values with a significantly higher, narrower peak ( p<0.01), although the ROI mean ADC showed no significant differences. For scan-rescan reproducibility, no significant differences were observed. Different DWI pulse sequences give rise to different ADC histograms. With a given pulse sequence, however, ADC histogram analysis is a robust and reproducible technique. Using FLAIR DWI, the partial-voluming effect of cerebrospinal fluid, and thus its confounding effect on histogram analyses, can be reduced.

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