A versatile flow phantom for intravoxel incoherent motion MRI

Gene Y. Cho, Sungheon Kim, Jens H. Jensen, Pippa Storey, Daniel K. Sodickson, Eric E. Sigmund

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Although there have been many advancements in cancer research, much is still unknown about the heterogeneous tumor microenvironment. Diffusion-weighted MRI has proven to be a viable and versatile microstructural probe. Diffusion-weighted sequences specifically sensitive to intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) have seen a recent resurgence of interest as they promise to provide a valuable window on the vascular microenvironment. To understand, test, and optimize IVIM-sensitive approaches, a complex flow phantom was constructed to mimic certain characteristics of the tumor microenvironment such as tortuous microvasculature, heterogeneous vascular permeability, and interstitial fluid pressure buildup. Results using this phantom on a clinical scanner platform confirmed IVIM sensitivity to microscopic flow effects. Biexponential fitting of signal decay curves enabled quantitative extraction of perfusion fraction, IVIM-related pseudodiffusivity, and tissue diffusivity. Parametric maps were also generated, illustrating the potential utility of IVIM-sensitive imaging in clinical settings. The flow phantom proved to be an effective test-bed for validating and optimizing the IVIM-MRI technique to provide surrogate markers for microvascular properties.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1710-1720
    Number of pages11
    JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2012



    • diffusion-weighted imaging
    • flow phantom
    • intravoxel incoherent motion
    • microvascular properties

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

    Cite this

    Cho, G. Y., Kim, S., Jensen, J. H., Storey, P., Sodickson, D. K., & Sigmund, E. E. (2012). A versatile flow phantom for intravoxel incoherent motion MRI. Magnetic resonance in medicine, 67(6), 1710-1720. https://doi.org/10.1002/mrm.23193