Diffusion MRI Outside the Brain

  • Rita G. NunesEmail author
  • Luísa Nogueira
  • Andreia S. Gaspar
  • Nuno Adubeiro
  • Sofia Brandão
Conference paper
Part of the Mathematics and Visualization book series (MATHVISUAL)


This manuscript provides an overview of recent developments in Diffusion-Weighted Imaging (DWI) outside the brain, focusing on liver, breast, prostate, muskuloskeletal (MSK) and cardiac applications. A general introduction to cross-cutting acquisition and image processing challenges is first provided. These often include short \(T_2\) relaxation times, the need to image a large field-of-view with the resulting complications in shimming the B0 field and achieving good fat suppression. Some of the strategies developed for dealing with motion, namely cardiac and respiratory motion are described. Specific sections are then presented for each of the aforementioned organs. A motivation for the clinical applicability of DWI is first provided, followed by specific image acquisition and processing considerations. Quantitative imaging is becoming standard in clinical practice, and the Apparent Diffusion Coefficient is routinely estimated in the liver, breast and prostate. Application of alternative signal models in these organs is being explored, including both the Intravoxel Incoherent Motion and Diffusion Kurtosis models. Ongoing efforts are focused on evaluating the potential clinical added value of the extra parameters and on improving their repeatability. MSK and cardiac DWI have shown potential for assessing pathological changes in fiber architecture, but further validation is required to enable application in the clinical setting.


Diffusion-weighted MRI Liver Breast Prostate Muskuloskeletal system Cardiac Applications 


Ethics: Institutional review board approval was obtained for both breast (code CES 276/13) and prostate imaging (code 215/12 190/DEFI/195-CES).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Systems and Robotics (LARSYS) and Department of BioengineeringInstituto Superior Técnico, University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Department of RadiologySchool of Health/Polytechnic of Porto (ESS-P.Porto)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar (ICBAS), University of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Department of RadiologyCentro Hospitalar de São João - EPE/Faculty of Medicine, University of PortoPortoPortugal
  5. 5.CESPU, CRL - Advanced Institute of Health SciencesGandra, ParedesPortugal
  6. 6.Associated Laboratory for Energy, Transports and Aeronautics (LAETA), Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (INEGI), Faculty of EngineeringUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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