Evaluation and Minimization of the Pseudohepatic Anisotropy Artifact in Liver Intravoxel Incoherent Motion

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the pseudohepatic anisotropy artifact on liver intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) metrics and whether the use of multiple gradient directions in the IVIM acquisition minimizes the artifact.

Materials and Methods

Multiple breath-holding and forced shallow free-breathing IVIM scans were performed on 8 healthy volunteers using 1 and 6 gradient directions. Cluster analysis was carried out to separate motion-contaminated parenchyma from liver parenchyma and vessels. Nonlinear motion analysis was also performed to look for a possible link between IVIM metrics and nonlinear liver motion.

Results

On the basis of the resulted clusters, motion-contaminated parenchyma is often noted in the left liver lobe, where the prominent pseudohepatic artifact has previously been identified. A significant reduction in outliers was obtained with the acquisition of 6 noncoplanar gradient directions and when using forced shallow free-breathing.

Conclusion

The pseudohepatic anisotropy artifact can be minimized when using multiple diffusion-encoding gradient directions and forced free-breathing during IVIM acquisition.

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