Diffusion-weighted imaging with simultaneous multi-slice echo-planar technique for the diagnosis of breast magnetic resonance imaging

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To evaluate the diagnostic potential of simultaneous multi-slice echo-planar diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) (SMS-DWI).

Materials and methods

A total of 55 consecutive patients underwent breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between April and September 2018. SMS-DWI and single-shot echo-planar DWI (SS-EPI-DWI) sequences were obtained with the following parameters: b value, 0, 850, and 1200 mm2/s for both; spacing between sections, 2 mm for SMS-DWI and 3 mm for SS-EPI-DWI. Lesion visibility was assessed by two radiologists, and minimal and maximal apparent diffusion coefficients (ADCs) for masses were measured. The Mann–Whitney U test and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis were performed.


Of the 55 cases, 23 (41.8%) were malignant and 32 (58.2%) were benign. Visual conspicuity was superior on SMS-DWI in 47.1% (n = 16/34) or 55.9% (n = 19/34) among the lesions visible on DWI and ADC. ROC curve analyses revealed an area under the curve of 0.87 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68–1.00], 0.94 (95% CI 0.86–1.00), 0.93 (95% CI 0.84–1.00) and 0.90 (95% CI 0.77–1.00) for minimal and maximal ADC on SMS-DWI and ADC on SS-EPI-DWI, respectively.


Simultaneous multi-slice technique provided breast DWI of better visual conspicuity and comparable diagnostic performance with shorter acquisition time.

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Correspondence to Youichi Machida.

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Machida, Y., Nomura, K., Shimauchi, A. et al. Diffusion-weighted imaging with simultaneous multi-slice echo-planar technique for the diagnosis of breast magnetic resonance imaging. Jpn J Radiol (2020).

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  • Breast
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • Apparent diffusion coefficient
  • Simultaneous multi-slice echo-planar