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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2009 Oct;193(4):1030-5. doi: 10.2214/AJR.09.2522.

Assessment of breast lesions with diffusion-weighted MRI: comparing the use of different b values.

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Clínica de Diagnóstico Por Imagem, Rua Ataulfo de Paiva, 669, 2nd floor, Leblon, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil, 22649-900.

Erratum in

  • AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2011 Feb;196(2):477.



Our purpose was to study the utility of diffusion-weighted MRI in differentiating benign from malignant breast lesions by assessing the best b values.


Forty-five women (mean age, 46.1 years) with 52 focal mass breast lesions underwent diffusion-weighted imaging with different b values. The apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value of each lesion was calculated from the ADC maps done using five b values (0, 250, 500, 750, and 1,000 s/mm(2)) and using b values of 0 s/mm(2) with each other b value separately (0 and 250 s/mm(2), 0 and 500 s/mm(2), 0 and 750 s/mm(2), 0 and 1,000 s/mm(2)). The mean ADC values were correlated with imaging findings and histopathologic diagnoses. The cutoff ADC value, sensitivity, and specificity of diffusion-weighted imaging to differentiate benign and malignant lesions were calculated in all b value combinations. A p value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


The mean ADC value was significantly lower for malignant lesions compared to benign lesions (p < 0.0001) in all b value combinations. No statistical difference was seen between the ADC obtained from different b value combinations (p = 0.2581) in the differentiation between benign and malignant lesions. The ADC calculated from b 0 and 750 s/mm(2) was slightly better than the other b value combinations, showing a sensitivity of 92.3% and a specificity of 96.2%.


Diffusion-weighted imaging is a potential resource as a coadjutant of MRI in the differentiation between benign and malignant lesions. Such imaging can be performed without a significant increase in examination time, especially because it can be done with lower b values.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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