Published online Jan 28, 2016. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v8.i1.21
Peer-review started: August 24, 2015
First decision: September 30, 2015
Revised: November 10, 2015
Accepted: December 7, 2015
Article in press: December 8, 2015
Published online: January 28, 2016
Core tip: Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging was highlighted as a potential cancer imaging biomarker by a team of experts in a report published in 2009. We review the variability of published diffusion values in the major extra-cranial organs and focus on the validation literature, both in vivo and in vitro. A total of 115 studies were selected including for liver parenchyma, kidney, pancreatic body, spleen, gallbladder, prostate, uterus (endometrium, myometrium, cervix) and breast. We also look in detail at the published repeatability and reproducibility studies, both in vivo and in phantoms. A series of recommendations based on our findings are given at the end of this review.