Purpose This study evaluated whether high b-value computed diffusion-weighted imaging (cDWI) can improve detection and differentiation of bowel inflammation in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). Methods Fifty-four consecutive CD patients who had undergone magnetic resonance enterography (MRE) and ileocolonoscopy (ICS) or balloon-assisted enteroscopy (BAE) were retrospectively studied; cDWI with a b-value = 1500s/mm (cDWI1500) was generated using DWI acquired with b-values of 0 and 800 s/mm (aDWI800). Overall, 366 bowel segments were evaluated. The signal intensities (SIs) of the bowel lumina were visually assessed on DWI. Bowel wall-to-iliopsoas muscle SI ratios on aDWI800 and cDWI1500 images and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were measured; visual assessments for lesion detection were performed using a 5-point Likert-like scale on plain MRE with aDWI800, plain MRE with cDWI1500, and contrast-enhanced (CE)-MRE without DWI. The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) was calculated to compare quantitative and qualitative assessments. Results SIs of the intraluminal fluid were shown as comparable to, or lower than background SIs on 157 (44.7 %) and 345 (98.3 %) of 351 segments on aDWI800 and cDWI1500, respectively. AUCs of SI ratios on cDWI1500 images (82.0 %, [95 % confidence interval: 76.6-87.3 %]) were greater than on aDWI800 (75.2 %, [68.2-82.3 %]; p < 0.001), and were close to the ADC values (81.5 % [76.3-86.7 %]; p = 0.76). The AUCs of CE-MRE images were largest, followed by plain MRE with cDWI1500, and plain MRE with aDWI800. Conclusions As it suppresses the SIs of intraluminal fluid and improves contrast between severe and non-severe inflammation, cDWI1500 helps with CD evaluation.
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