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Correlation between Hepatic Fat Content Using 3-Echo 3-D Dixon Method and Intravoxel Incoherent Motion (IVIM) Perfusion MR Imaging


Fat accumulates as droplets in the hepatocyte swelling, distortion of microcirculatory anatomy and compression of sinus. This study aims to investigate the correlation between the T2*-corrected fat fraction (FF) value acquired via gradient echo with a low flip angle and parenchymal pseudorandom blood perfusion (P fraction), microcirculation (D fast), and slow component of diffusion (D slow), acquired via intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM), and to investigate the blood microcirculation and diffusion components of liver parenchyma, according to fat deposition. A total of 126 patients underwent 3-T magnetic resonance imaging, including a 3-echo three-dimensional (3-D) gradient echo sequence with T2*-corrected Dixon reconstruction and IVIM sequence. Pearson’s correlation analysis was conducted to investigate the correlation of the FF obtained via the Dixon method with the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), D slow, P fraction, and D fast obtained via IVIM. Correlation analysis was also conducted for the IVIM mapping images. A confidence level of p < 0.05 was set. A negative correlation was found between the T2*-corrected FF acquired using the 3-echo 3-D Dixon method and D slow acquired via IVIM (r = −0.181, p < 0.05). It was likely due to the increased extracellular collagen deposition and increased intracellular fat droplets during the progression of liver fibrosis.

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This study was supported by a grant (2010-0008096) from the Basic Science Research Programs through the National Research Foundation (NRF), and the program of Basic Atomic Energy Research Institute (BAERI) (2009-0078390), in addition to a grant (2012-007883) from the Mid-career Researcher Program funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) of Korea. and the Technology Innovation Program (10040427, Development of Diagnosis and Therapy Apparatus for Helium Free MRI) funded by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE, Korea).

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Correspondence to Bo-Young Choe.

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Yu, SM., Kim, SS., Paek, MY. et al. Correlation between Hepatic Fat Content Using 3-Echo 3-D Dixon Method and Intravoxel Incoherent Motion (IVIM) Perfusion MR Imaging. Appl Magn Reson 44, 791–801 (2013).

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  • Apparent Diffusion Coefficient
  • Liver Fibrosis
  • Liver Steatosis
  • Intravoxel Incoherent Motion
  • Dixon Method