Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 131–139 | Cite as

Intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted MR imaging of solid pancreatic masses: reliability and usefulness for characterization

  • Riccardo De RobertisEmail author
  • Nicolò Cardobi
  • Silvia Ortolani
  • Paolo Tinazzi Martini
  • Alto Stemmer
  • Robert Grimm
  • Stefano Gobbo
  • Giovanni Butturini
  • Mirko D’Onofrio



IVIM-DW imaging has shown potential usefulness in the study of pancreatic lesions. Controversial results are available regarding the reliability of the measurements of IVIM-derived parameters. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability and the diagnostic potential of IVIM-derived parameters in differentiation among focal solid pancreatic lesions and normal pancreas (NP).


Fifty-seven patients (34 carcinomas—PDACs, 18 neuroendocrine neoplasms—panNENs, and 5 autoimmune pancreatitis—AIP) and 50 subjects with NP underwent 1.5-T MR imaging including IVIM-DWI. Images were analyzed by two independent readers. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), slow component of diffusion (D), incoherent microcirculation (Dp), and perfusion fraction (f) were calculated. Interobserver reliability was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). A Kruskal–Wallis H test with Steel–Dwass post hoc test was used for comparison. The diagnostic performance of each parameter was evaluated through receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.


Overall interobserver agreement was excellent (ICC = 0.860, 0.937, 0.968, and 0.983 for ADC, D, Dp, and f). D, Dp, and f significantly differed among PDACs and panNENs (p = 0.002, < 0.001, and < 0.001), albeit without significant difference at the pairwise comparison of ROC curves (p = 0.08-0.74). Perfusion fraction was higher in AIP compared with PDACs (p = 0.024; AUC = 0.735). Dp and f were higher in panNENs compared with AIP (p = 0.029 and 0.023), without differences at ROC analysis (p = 0.07).


IVIM-derived parameters have excellent reliability and could help in differentiation among solid pancreatic lesions and NP.


Pancreas Intravoxel incoherent motion Diffusion-weighted imaging Pancreatic carcinoma Magnetic resonance imaging 


Compliance with ethical standards


We state that this work has not received any funding.

Conflict of interest

Riccardo De Robertis, Nicolò Cardobi, Silvia Ortolani, Paolo Tinazzi Martini, and Mirko D’Onofrio declare no economic relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. Alto Stemmer is an employee of Siemens Healthcare GmbH. Robert Grimm is an employee of Siemens Healthcare GmbH, owns stocks of Siemens AG, and holds patents filed by Siemens.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Riccardo De Robertis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicolò Cardobi
    • 1
  • Silvia Ortolani
    • 2
  • Paolo Tinazzi Martini
    • 1
  • Alto Stemmer
    • 3
  • Robert Grimm
    • 3
  • Stefano Gobbo
    • 4
  • Giovanni Butturini
    • 5
  • Mirko D’Onofrio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyOspedale P. PederzoliPeschiera del GardaItaly
  2. 2.Department of OncologyOspedale P. PederzoliPeschiera del GardaItaly
  3. 3.Siemens HealthcareErlangenGermany
  4. 4.Department of PathologyOspedale P. PederzoliPeschiera del GardaItaly
  5. 5.Department of Pancreatic SurgeryOspedale P. PederzoliPeschiera del GardaItaly

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