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 'Diffusion Weighted Sequence' 
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Diffusion Weighted SequenceInfoSheet: - Sequences - 
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Diffusion weighted imaging can be performed similar to the phase contrast angiography sequence. The gradients must be increased in amplitude to depict the much slower motions of molecular diffusion in the body.
While a T1 weighted MRI pulse sequence is diffusion sensitive, a quantitative diffusion pulse sequence was introduced by Steijskal and Tanner. Its characteristic features are two strong symmetrical gradient lobes placed on either side of the 180° refocusing pulse in a spin echo sequence. These symmetrical gradient lobes have the sole purpose of enhancing dephasing of spins, thereby accelerating intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) signal loss.
Dephasing is proportional to the square of the time (diffusion time) during which the gradients are switched on and the strength of the applied gradient field. Therefore, the use of high field gradient systems with faster and more sensitive sequences, make diffusion weighting more feasible.
Areas in which the protons diffuse rapidly (swollen cells in early stroke, less restriction to diffusion) will show an increased signal when the echo is measured relative to areas in which diffusion is restricted. For increased accuracy of diffusion measurement and image enhancement, useful motion correction techniques such as navigator echo and other methods should be used. In addition to this, applying the b-value calculated by the strength and duration of motion probing gradients with a high rate of accuracy is very important.
See also Apparent Diffusion Coefficient, ADC Map, Lattice Index Map.

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Diffusion-Weighted Imaging
Diffusion Imaging: From Basic Physics to Practical Imaging
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Functional imaging with diffusion-weighted MRI for lung biopsy planning: initial experience
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Diffusion-weighted MRI sensitive for metastasis in pelvic lymph nodes
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Hopkins researchers use diffusion MRI technique to monitor ultrasound uterine fibroid treatment
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The b-value is a factor of diffusion weighted sequences. The b factor summarizes the influence of the gradients on the diffusion weighted images. The higher the value b, the stronger the diffusion weighting.


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Further Reading:
Diffusion-Weighted MRI in the Body: Applications and Challenges in Oncology
Friday, 1 June 2007   by    
Implementation of Dual-Source RF Excitation in 3 T MR-Scanners Allows for Nearly Identical ADC Values Compared to 1.5 T MR Scanners in the Abdomen
Wednesday, 29 February 2012   by    
High-b-value Diffusion-weighted MR Imaging of Suspected Brain Infarction
2000   by    
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EORTC study aims to qualify ADC as predictive imaging biomarker in preoperative regimens
Monday, 4 January 2016   by    
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Bipolar Gradient Pulse
Bipolar gradients are two gradients with the same magnitude but opposite gradient direction. A bipolar gradient pulse is produced if one of the bipolar gradients is switched e.g., in negative direction and then switched in the opposite direction for an equivalent amount of time.
Bipolar gradients are used e.g. in phase contrast and diffusion weighted sequences. A bipolar gradient pulse pair produces a phase shift, which depends on the velocity component along this gradient. Motion along a bipolar gradient pulse pair results in a flow-induced phase shift of the transverse magnetization. The bipolar gradient pulse pair will not affect stationary spins. The amount of phase shifts depends on the area of each gradient pulse, and distance between the pulses. An echo occurring after such a gradient is flow compensated for velocity. A slight shift in the balance of this gradient will introduce a defined flow sensitivity of the pulse sequence.

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Diffusion Time
Images obtained by a diffusion weighted sequence (e.g. the Stejskal-Tanner sequence) reflect the diffusion as an attenuation of signal intensity. The diffusion time is the time elapsed between the leading edges of the diffusion gradient lobes of this sequence.

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Further Reading:
Diffusion-Weighted MRI in the Body: Applications and Challenges in Oncology
Friday, 1 June 2007   by    
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(DWI) Magnetic resonance imaging is sensitive to diffusion, because the diffusion of water molecules along a field gradient reduces the MR signal. In areas of lower diffusion the signal loss is less intense and the display from this areas is brighter. The use of a bipolar gradient pulse and suitable pulse sequences permits the acquisition of diffusion weighted images (images in which areas of rapid proton diffusion can be distinguished from areas with slow diffusion).
Based on echo planar imaging, multislice DWI is today a standard for imaging brain infarction. With enhanced gradients, the whole brain can be scanned within seconds. The degree of diffusion weighting correlates with the strength of the diffusion gradients, characterized by the b-value, which is a function of the gradient related parameters: strength, duration, and the period between diffusion gradients.
Certain illnesses show restrictions of diffusion, for example demyelinization and cytotoxic edema. Areas of cerebral infarction have decreased apparent diffusion, which results in increased signal intensity on diffusion weighted MRI scans. DWI has been demonstrated to be more sensitive for the early detection of stroke than standard pulse sequences and is closely related to temperature mapping.
DWIBS is a new diffusion weighted imaging technique for the whole body that produces PET-like images. The DWIBS sequence has been developed with the aim to detect lymph nodes and to differentiate normal and hyperplastic from metastatic lymph nodes. This may be possible caused by alterations in microcirculation and water diffusivity within cancer metastases in lymph nodes.
See also Diffusion Weighted Sequence, Perfusion Imaging, ADC Map, Apparent Diffusion Coefficient, and Diffusion Tensor Imaging.


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Further Reading:
Novel MRI Technique Could Reduce Breast Biopsies, University of Washington Study
Tuesday, 2 October 2012   by    
Quantitative Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Measurements Obtained by 3-Tesla MRI Are Correlated with Biomarkers of Bladder Cancer Proliferative Activity
  News & More:
Use of diffusion magnetic resonance imaging to correlate the developmental changes in grape berry tissue structure with water diffusion patterns
Wednesday, 5 November 2014   by    
Novel Imaging Technique Improves Prostate Cancer Detection
Tuesday, 6 January 2015   by    
High-b-value Diffusion-weighted MR Imaging of Suspected Brain Infarction
2000   by    
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