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Diffusion-weighted imaging of the healthy pancreas: Apparent diffusion coefficient values of the normal head, body, and tail calculated from different sets of b-values

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate differences in apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values between head, body, and tail regions and the impact of sets of b-values used in diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) of the normal pancreas.

Materials and Methods:

In 51 healthy volunteers echo-planar DWI of the pancreas was prospectively performed with b-values of 50, 400, and 800 s/mm2. All four possible combinations of b-values were used to calculate ADC values in a total of 587 regions in the pancreas head, body, and tail regions. Dependency of ADC values on the anatomical regions and on the applied sets of b-values was calculated using multivariate analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Results:

Mean ADC values differed significantly between the anatomical regions with the lowest values measured in the pancreatic tail (head 1.13 ± 0.20, body 1.05 ± 0.20, and tail 0.94 ± 0.18 × 10−3 mm2/s; P < 0.05). ANOVA showed no dependency of ADC values on the sets of b-values used.

Conclusion:

ADC values differed significantly between the pancreatic head, body, and tail region, with decreasing ADC values toward the tail. Cautious interpretation of DWI results with adjusted, normalized values adapted to the anatomical region seems advisable. The knowledge of such differences may enhance the method's capability to differentiate between different pancreatic pathologies. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2011;. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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