Simultaneous multislice diffusion-weighted imaging versus standard diffusion-weighted imaging in whole-body PET/MRI

Felipe S. Furtado, Nathaniel D. Mercaldo, Thomas Vahle, Thomas Benkert, William R. Bradley, Lisa Ratanaprasatporn, Ravi Teja Seethamraju, Mukesh G. Harisinghani, Susanna Lee, Krista Suarez-Weiss, Lale Umutlu, Ciprian Catana, Kelsey L. Pomykala, Liran Domachevsky, Hanna Bernstine, David Groshar, Bruse R. Rosen, Onofrio Antonio Catalano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To compare standard (STD-DWI) single-shot echo-planar imaging DWI and simultaneous multislice (SMS) DWI during whole-body positron emission tomography (PET)/MRI regarding acquisition time, image quality, and lesion detection. Methods: Eighty-three adults (47 females, 57%), median age of 64 years (IQR 52–71), were prospectively enrolled from August 2018 to March 2020. Inclusion criteria were (a) abdominal or pelvic tumors and (b) PET/MRI referral from a clinician. Patients were excluded if whole-body acquisition of STD-DWI and SMS-DWI sequences was not completed. The evaluated sequences were axial STD-DWI at b-values 50–400–800 s/mm2 and the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and axial SMS-DWI at b-values 50–300–800 s/mm2 and ADC, acquired with a 3-T PET/MRI scanner. Three radiologists rated each sequence’s quality on a five-point scale. Lesion detection was quantified using the anatomic MRI sequences and PET as the reference standard. Regression models were constructed to quantify the association between all imaging outcomes/scores and sequence type. Results: The median whole-body STD-DWI acquisition time was 14.8 min (IQR 14.1–16.0) versus 7.0 min (IQR 6.7–7.2) for whole-body SMS-DWI, p < 0.001. SMS-DWI image quality scores were higher than STD-DWI in the abdomen (OR 5.31, 95% CI 2.76–10.22, p < 0.001), but lower in the cervicothoracic junction (OR 0.21, 95% CI 0.10–0.43, p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the chest, mediastinum, pelvis, and rectum. STD-DWI detected 276/352 (78%) lesions while SMS-DWI located 296/352 (84%, OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.02–2.07, p = 0.038). Conclusions: In cancer staging and restaging, SMS-DWI abbreviates acquisition while maintaining or improving the diagnostic yield in most anatomic regions. Key Points: • Simultaneous multislice diffusion-weighted imaging enables faster whole-body image acquisition. • Simultaneous multislice diffusion-weighted imaging maintains or improves image quality when compared to single-shot echo-planar diffusion-weighted imaging in most anatomical regions. • Simultaneous multislice diffusion-weighted imaging leads to superior lesion detection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2536-2547
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • DWI
  • Diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
  • Echo-planar imaging
  • Multiband
  • Parallel imaging


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