Repeatability of IVIM biomarkers from diffusion-weighted MRI in head and neck: Bayesian probability versus neural network: Bayesian probability versus neural network

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademic

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) model for DWI might provide useful biomarkers for disease management in head and neck cancer. This study compared the repeatability of three IVIM fitting methods to the conventional nonlinear least-squares regression: Bayesian probability estimation, a recently introduced neural network approach, IVIM-NET, and a version of the neural network modified to increase consistency, IVIM-NETmod. Methods: Ten healthy volunteers underwent two imaging sessions of the neck, two weeks apart, with two DWI acquisitions per session. Model parameters (ADC, diffusion coefficient (Formula presented.), perfusion fraction (Formula presented.), and pseudo-diffusion coefficient (Formula presented.)) from each fit method were determined in the tonsils and in the pterygoid muscles. Within-subject coefficients of variation (wCV) were calculated to assess repeatability. Training of the neural network was repeated 100 times with random initialization to investigate consistency, quantified by the coefficient of variance. Results: The Bayesian and neural network approaches outperformed nonlinear regression in terms of wCV. Intersession wCV of (Formula presented.) in the tonsils was 23.4% for nonlinear regression, 9.7% for Bayesian estimation, 9.4% for IVIM-NET, and 11.2% for IVIM-NETmod. However, results from repeated training of the neural network on the same data set showed differences in parameter estimates: The coefficient of variances over the 100 repetitions for IVIM-NET were 15% for both (Formula presented.) and (Formula presented.), and 94% for (Formula presented.); for IVIM-NETmod, these values improved to 5%, 9%, and 62%, respectively. Conclusion: Repeatabilities from the Bayesian and neural network approaches are superior to that of nonlinear regression for estimating IVIM parameters in the head and neck.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3394-3402
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number6
Early online date26 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • diffusion magnetic resonance imaging
  • head and neck neoplasms
  • repeatability

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