Clinical Applications of Diffusion

  • Reza Forghani
  • Pamela W. Schaefer


Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) is a technique based on diffusion of water molecules in tissues, with clinical applications to a wide array of pathological conditions. Currently, DWI is the most reliable method for detection of early and small ischemic infarcts in the brain and the gold standard for determination of the infarct core. DWI is also an important sequence for characterization of various neoplastic conditions such as epidermoid tumors, lymphomas, and high-grade astrocytomas and enables distinction of pyogenic abscesses from ring-enhancing intracranial neoplasms. Additional applications of DWI include differentiation of vasogenic edema syndromes from acute ischemia, identification of acute demyelinating lesions, and characterization of encephalitides, toxic and metabolic lesions, and diffuse axonal injury. This chapter provides an overview of current clinical applications of DWI as well as potential future applications of DWI currently under investigation, including its use for prediction of complications and outcomes of ischemic strokes and distinction of tumor progression from treatment-related changes.


Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Diffusion Tensor Imaging Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome Restricted Diffusion Transient Global Amnesia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologySir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General HospitalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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