Retrospective Correction of ADC for Gradient Nonlinearity Errors in Multicenter Breast DWI Trials: ACRIN6698 Multiplatform Feasibility Study

Malyarenko DI, Newitt DC, Amouzandeh G, Wilmes LJ, Tan ET, Marinelli L, Devaraj A, Peeters JM, Giri S, Endt AV, Hylton NM, Partridge SC, Chenevert TL

The presented analysis of multisite, multiplatform clinical oncology trial data sought to enhance quantitative utility of the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) metric, derived from diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging, by reducing technical interplatform variability owing to systematic gradient nonlinearity (GNL). This study tested the feasibility and effectiveness of a retrospective GNL correction (GNC) implementation for quantitative quality control phantom data, as well as in a representative subset of 60 subjects from the ACRIN 6698 breast cancer therapy response trial who were scanned on 6 different gradient systems. The GNL ADC correction based on a previously developed formalism was applied to trace-DWI using system-specific gradient-channel fields derived from vendor-provided spherical harmonic tables. For quantitative DWI phantom images acquired in typical breast imaging positions, the GNC improved interplatform accuracy from a median of 6% down to 0.5% and reproducibility of 11% down to 2.5%. Across studied trial subjects, GNC increased low ADC (<1 µm2/ms) tumor volume by 16% and histogram percentiles by 5%–8%, uniformly shifting percentile-dependent ADC thresholds by ∼0.06 µm2/ms. This feasibility study lays the grounds for retrospective GNC implementation in multiplatform clinical imaging trials to improve accuracy and reproducibility of ADC metrics used for breast cancer treatment response prediction.

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