La radiologia medica

, Volume 123, Issue 4, pp 296–304 | Cite as

Short tau inversion recovery in breast diffusion-weighted imaging: signal-to-noise ratio and apparent diffusion coefficients using a breast phantom in comparison with spectral attenuated inversion recovery

  • Tsukasa Yoshida
  • Atsushi Urikura
  • Kensei Shirata
  • Yoshihiro Nakaya
  • Masahiro Endo
  • Shingo Terashima
  • Yoichiro Hosokawa



This study aimed to compare the signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) obtained using two fat suppression techniques in breast diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) of a phantom.

Materials and methods

The breast phantom comprised agar gels with four different concentrations of granulated sugar (samples 1, 2, 3, and 4). DWI with short tau inversion recovery (STIR-DWI) and that with spectral attenuated inversion recovery (SPAIR-DWI) were performed using 3.0-T magnetic resonance imaging, and the obtained SNRs and ADCs were compared. ADCs were also compared between the right and left breast phantoms.


For samples 3 and 4, SNRs obtained using STIR-DWI were lower than those obtained using SPAIR-DWI. For samples 2, 3, and 4, overall ADCs obtained using STIR-DWI were significantly higher than those obtained using SPAIR-DWI (p < 0.001 for all), although no significant difference was observed for sample 1 (p = 0.62). STIR-DWI shows a positive bias and wide limits of agreement in Bland–Altman plot. The coefficients of variance of overall ADCs were good in STIR-DWI and SPAIR-DWI. For all samples, STIR-DWI demonstrated slightly larger percentage differences in ADCs between the right and left phantoms than SPAIR-DWI.


SNRs and ADCs obtained using STIR-DWI are influenced by the T 1 value; a shorter T 1 value decreases SNRs, overestimates ADCs, and induces the measurement error in ADCs. STIR-DWI showed a larger difference in ADCs between the right and left phantoms than SPAIR-DWI.


Diffusion-weighted imaging Signal-to-noise ratio Apparent diffusion coefficient Short tau inversion recovery 



There is no funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsukasa Yoshida
    • 1
    • 2
  • Atsushi Urikura
    • 1
  • Kensei Shirata
    • 1
  • Yoshihiro Nakaya
    • 1
  • Masahiro Endo
    • 1
  • Shingo Terashima
    • 3
  • Yoichiro Hosokawa
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic RadiologyShizuoka Cancer CenterSuntoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Radiation ScienceHirosaki University Graduate School of Health SciencesHirosakiJapan
  3. 3.Division of Medical Life Sciences, Department of Radiological Life SciencesHirosaki UniversityHirosakiJapan

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