European Radiology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 703–709

What is the optimal b value in diffusion-weighted MR imaging to depict prostate cancer at 3T?


DOI: 10.1007/s00330-011-2298-9

Cite this article as:
Metens, T., Miranda, D., Absil, J. et al. Eur Radiol (2012) 22: 703. doi:10.1007/s00330-011-2298-9



To determine an optimal b value to visualise prostate cancer using diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T.


Forty one patients with biopsy proven prostate cancer underwent 3 T diffusion-weighted MRI performed with 5 b values (0, 1,000, 1,500, 2,000, 2,500 s/mm2) using a 16-channel coil. Best lesion visibility, the central gland-lesion (CG-L) and the peripheral zone-lesion (PZ-L) contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were compared between different b value images, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were measured. In a subset of 29 patients a high resolution b1,500 s/mm2diffusion-weighted sequence was additionally assessed.


The b = 1,500 s/mm2 and b = 2,000 s/mm2 images provided the best lesion visibility respectively in 27/41 and in 10/41patients. The highest CG-L and PZ-L CNR were obtained with b = 1,500 s/mm2 (P < 0.0001). The mean ADC value calculated from 0 to 1,500 s/mm2 b values in cancer lesions (ADC = 736 ± 173 10−6 mm2/s) was statistically significantly lower than in the peripheral zone (ADC = 1,338 ± 256 10−6 mm2/s, P < 0.0001) and in the central gland (ADC = 1,270 ± 239 10−6 mm2/s, P < 0.0001). The high resolution diffusion sequence was judged of better lesion visibility than (17/29) or equivalent to (6/29) the best images from the 5b sequence.


At 3 T, prostate cancer lesions are best depicted with b = 1,500 s/mm2 and b = 2,000 s/mm2 images, b = 1,500 s/mm2 high-resolution diffusion images improve the image quality and contrast.

Key Points

Multiple b ≥ 1,000 s/mm23 T-DW Magnetic Resonance Imaging provides excellent prostate cancer depiction.

Prostate DWI and ADC maps are attainable at 3 T without endorectal coil.

Prostate cancer depiction is improved on high resolution b 1,500 s/mm23 T-DWI.


Prostate cancer Magnetic resonance imaging Diffusion High b value High field MRI 

Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Resonance Magnetique, Hôpital ErasmeUniversité Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium

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