Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of prospective, retrospective, and combined (prospective + retrospective) EPI distortion correction methods in bilateral breast diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) scans. Methods: Five healthy female subjects underwent an axial bilateral breast DWI exam with and without prospective B0 inhomogeneity correction using slice-by-slice linear shimming. In each case, an additional b=0 DWI scan was performed with the polarity of the phase-encoding gradient reversed, to generate an estimated B0 map; this map or a separately acquired B0 map was used for retrospective correction, either alone or in combination with the prospective correction. The alignment between an undistorted, anatomical reference scan with similar contrast and the corrected b=0 DWI images with different correction schemes was assessed. Results: The average cross-correlation coefficient between the DWI images and the anatomical reference scan was increased from 0.82 to 0.92 over the five volunteers when combined prospective and retrospective distortion correction was applied. Furthermore, such correction substantially reduced patient-to-patient variation of the image alignment and the variability of the average apparent diffusion coefficient in normal glandular tissue. Conclusion: Combined prospective and retrospective distortion correction can provide an efficient way to reduce susceptibility-induced image distortions and enhance the reliability of breast DWI exams. Magn Reson Med 78:247–253, 2017.
- diffusion-weighted imaging
- shim (DWI)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging