Diffusion-Weighted Echo Planar Imaging using MUltiplexed Sensitivity Encoding and Reverse Polarity Gradient in Head and Neck Cancer: An Initial Study

Head and Neck Cancer

Konar AS, et al. Tomography 2020.


We aimed to compare the geometric distortion (GD) correction performance and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurements of single-shot diffusion-weighted echo-planar imaging (SS-DWEPI), multiplexed sensitivity encoding (MUSE)-DWEPI, and MUSE-DWEPI with reverse-polarity gradient (RPG) in phantoms and patients. We performed phantom studies at 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using the American College of Radiology phantom and Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance DW-MRI ice-water

phantom to assess GD and effect of distortion in the measurement of ADC, respectively. Institutional review board approved the prospective clinical component of this study. DW-MRI data were obtained from 11 patients with head and neck cancer using these three DW-MRI methods. Wilcoxon signed-rank (WSR) and Kruskal-Wallis (KW) tests were used to compare ADC values, and qualitative rating by radiologist between three DW-MRI methods. In the ACR phantom, GD of 0.17% was observed for the b = 0 s/mm2 image of the MUSE-DWEPI with RPG method compared with that of 1.53% and 2.1% of MUSE-DWEPI and SS-DWEPI, respectively; The corresponding methods root-mean-square errors were 0.58, 3.37, and 5.07 mm. WSR and KW tests showed no significant difference in the ADC measurement between these three DW-MRI methods for both healthy masseter muscles and neoplasms (P > .05). We observed improvement in spatial accuracy for MUSE-DWEPI with RPG in the head and neck region with a higher correlation (R2 = 0.791) compared with that for SS-DWEPI (R2 = 0.707) and MUSE-DWEPI (R2 = 0.745). MUSE-DWEPI with RPG significantly reduces the distortion compared with MUSE-DWEPI or conventional SS-DWEPI techniques, and the ADC values were similar.