Intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) histogram biomarkers for prediction of neoadjuvant treatment response in breast cancer patients

Gene Y. Cho, Lucas Gennaro, Elizabeth J. Sutton, Emily C. Zabor, Zhigang Zhang, Dilip Giri, Linda Moy, Daniel K. Sodickson, Elizabeth A. Morris, Eric E. Sigmund, Sunitha B. Thakur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To examine the prognostic capabilities of intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) metrics and their ability to predict response to neoadjuvant treatment (NAT). Additionally, to observe changes in IVIM metrics between pre- and post-treatment MRI. Methods This IRB-approved, HIPAA-compliant retrospective study observed 31 breast cancer patients (32 lesions). Patients underwent standard bilateral breast MRI along with diffusion-weighted imaging before and after NAT. Six patients underwent an additional IVIM-MRI scan 12–14 weeks after initial scan and 2 cycles of treatment. In addition to apparent diffusion coefficients (ADC) from monoexponential decay, IVIM mean values (tissue diffusivity Dt, perfusion fraction fp, and pseudodiffusivity Dp) and histogram metrics were derived using a biexponential model. An additional filter identified voxels of highly vascular tumor tissue (VTT), excluding necrotic or normal tissue. Clinical data include histology of biopsy and clinical response to treatment through RECIST assessment. Comparisons of treatment response were made using Wilcoxon rank-sum tests. Results Average, kurtosis, and skewness of pseudodiffusion Dp significantly differentiated RECIST responders from nonresponders. ADC and Dt values generally increased (∼70%) and VTT% values generally decreased (∼20%) post-treatment. Conclusion Dp metrics showed prognostic capabilities; slow and heterogeneous pseudodiffusion offer poor prognosis. Baseline ADC/Dt parameters were not significant predictors of response. This work suggests that IVIM mean values and heterogeneity metrics may have prognostic value in the setting of breast cancer NAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-107
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology Open
StatePublished - 2017


  • Breast cancer
  • Diffusion weighted MRI
  • Intravoxel incoherent motion
  • Neoadjuvant treatment
  • Response evaluation criteria in solid tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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