Intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion imaging of the liver: Optimal b-value subsampling and impact on parameter precision and reproducibility

Hadrien Dyvorne, Guido Jajamovich, Suguru Kakite, Bernd Kuehn, Bachir Taouli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Purpose To increase diffusion sampling efficiency in intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of the liver by reducing the number of diffusion weightings (b-values).

Materials and methods In this IRB approved HIPAA compliant prospective study, 53 subjects (M/F 38/15, mean age 52 ± 13 y) underwent IVIM DWI at 1.5 T using 16 b-values (0-800 s/mm2), with 14 subjects having repeat exams to assess IVIM parameter reproducibility. A biexponential diffusion model was used to quantify IVIM hepatic parameters (PF: perfusion fraction, D: true diffusion and D∗: pseudo diffusion). All possible subsets of the 16 b-values were probed, with number of b values ranging from 4 to 15, and corresponding parameters were quantified for each subset. For each b-value subset, global parameter estimation error was computed against the parameters obtained with all 16 b-values and the subsets providing the lowest error were selected. Interscan estimation error was also evaluated between repeat exams to assess reproducibility of the IVIM technique in the liver. The optimal b-values distribution was selected such that the number of b-values was minimal while keeping parameter estimation error below interscan reproducibility error.

Conclusion A set of 4 optimized b-values can be used to estimate IVIM parameters in the liver with significantly shorter acquisition time (up to 75%), without substantial degradation of IVIM parameter precision and reproducibility compared to the 16 b-value acquisition used as the reference.

Results As the number of b-values decreased, the estimation error increased for all parameters, reflecting decreased precision of IVIM metrics. Using an optimal set of 4 b-values (0, 15, 150 and 800 s/mm2), the errors were 6.5, 22.8 and 66.1% for D, PF and D∗ respectively. These values lie within the range of test-retest reproducibility for the corresponding parameters, with errors of 12.0, 32.3 and 193.8% for D, PF and D∗ respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2109-2113
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Diffusion weighted imaging
  • Intravoxel incoherent motion
  • Liver
  • Optimization
  • PerfusionPseudo-diffusion
  • b-Value


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