Preliminary Results of High-Precision Computed Diffusion Weighted Imaging for the Diagnosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma at 3 Tesla

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ObjectiveTo compare the utility of high-precision computed diffusion-weighted imaging (hc-DWI) and conventional computed DWI (cc-DWI) for the diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at 3 T.MethodsWe subjected 75 HCC patients to DWI (b-value 150 and 600 s/mm2). To generate hc-DWI we applied non-rigid image registration to avoid the mis-registration of images obtained with different b-values. We defined c-DWI with a b-value of 1500 s/mm2 using DWI with b-value 150 and 600 s/mm2 as cc-DWI, and c-DWI with b-value 1500 s/mm2 using registered DWI with b-value 150 and 600 s/mm2 as hc-DWI. A radiologist recorded the contrast ratio (CR) between HCC and the surrounding hepatic parenchyma.ResultsThe CR for HCC was significantly higher on hc- than cc-DWIs (median 2.0 vs. 1.8, P < 0.01).ConclusionThe CR of HCC can be improved with image registration, indicating that hc-DWI is more useful than cc-DWI for the diagnosis of HCC.

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