Published online Jul 28, 2015. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v7.i7.149
Peer-review started: February 9, 2015
First decision: March 20, 2015
Revised: April 25, 2015
Accepted: May 7, 2015
Article in press: May 8, 2015
Published online: July 28, 2015
Owing to technical advances and improvement of the software, diffusion weighted imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DWI and DTI) greatly improved the diagnostic value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pelvic region. These imaging sequences can exhibit important tissue contrast on the basis of random diffusion (Brownian motion) of water molecules in tissues. Quantitative measurements can be done with DWI and DTI by apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA) values respectively. ADC and FA values may be changed by various physiological and pathological conditions providing additional information to conventional MRI. The quantitative DWI assists significantly in the differentiation of benign and malignant lesions. It can demonstrate the microstructural architecture and celluler density of the normal and diseased uterine zones. On the other hand, DWI and DTI are useful for monitoring the treatment outcome of the uterine lesions. In this review, we discussed advantages of DWI and DTI of the normal and diseased uterus.
Core tip: Diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) sequences greatly improved the diagnostic value of magnetic resonance imaging of the uterus with the additional benefits of functional information. They reflect the microstructural architecture and cellular density of the uterine zones and enable quantitative evaluation. Depending on this review, DWI and DTI appear to be applicable and reliable methods for demonstrating physiological changes of the uterus, benign and malignant characteristics of uterine zones and monitoring the treatment outcome of the uterine diseases.