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Nov 1, 2018 — Clinical Radiology

Authors: M. Fanariotis, I. Tsougos, M. Vlychou, I. Fezoulidis, K. Vassiou

Affiliations – Diagnostic Radiology Department, University of Thessaly, Biopolis, 41110, Larissa, Greece




To evaluate the effect of intravenous gadolinium contrast agent on diffusion-weighted sequences and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurements at 3 T.

Materials and methods

Sixty-two biopsy-proven breast lesions were included in this prospective study. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed at 3 T, using four echo-planar diffusion-weighted sequences (7,100 ms repetition time, 84 ms echo time) with b-values of 0 and 850, and 0 and 1,000 s/mm2. The first pair of DWI sequences was taken before intravenous contrast medium injection. The second pair of sequences was taken 6.5 minutes after intravenous contrast medium administration (right after the dynamic T1 sequence). A freeform region of interest (ROI) was drawn inside the lesion excluding adjacent normal tissue, necrotic, or cystic components and ADC values were calculated. The paired samples t-test was used to assess differences between ADC measurements before and after intravenous contrast medium administration. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and area under the curve were calculated for each diffusion sequence.


Twenty-seven malignant and 35 benign lesions were analysed. Fifty-eight lesions were masses, and four lesions were non-mass-like enhancements (NMLEs). Two of the NMLEs were malignant, and two were benign lesions. The contrast-enhanced ADC measurements were lower than the unenhanced measurements on b=850 and 1,000 s/mm2 (p<0.05). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis displayed similar area under the curve values between the different diffusion sequences.


The injection of intravenous contrast medium reduces ADC values; however, the effect of contrast medium is modest. Sensitivity and specificity are not significantly affected.

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