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Apparent diffusion coefficient of normal breast tissue during the menstrual cycle at 3 Tesla

  • N AlRashidi1,
  • T Ahearn1,
  • B Jagpal1,
  • T Redpath1 and
  • F Gilbert1
Breast Cancer Research201113(Suppl 1):P5

Published: 4 November 2011


Apparent Diffusion CoefficientMenstrual CycleNormal Breast TissueFemale VolunteerTurbo Spin


Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) is a quantitative MRI technique that provides physiological information by measuring the degree of water molecule diffusion within the extracellular space. It gives a quantitative measurement known as the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) value. The aim of the study is to show the influence of the menstrual cycle on breast ADC values and the relationship of the ADC to transverse relaxation (T2) value.


Female volunteers had one MRI scan per week over 4 weeks using a 3 T MRI scanner. The ADC of the fibroglandular tissue was measured using a single-shot SE-EPI with four b values (0, 50, 150, and 800 s/mm2). The T2 relaxation time was measured using T2w turbo spin echo (TSE) with four echo times (20, 40, 60, and 80 ms). ADC and T2 maps were generated automatically by standard Philips software.


The study was performed on 11 healthy volunteers (23 to 41 years old) with a regular menstrual cycle. There is no significant difference between ADC and T2 values for the 4 weeks. Pearson's correlation coefficient indicated a negative correlation between ADC and T2 values. See Table 1.

Table 1


Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

ADC (×10-3 mm2/s)


   Fibroglandular tissue

1.7 ± 0.2

1.7 ± 0.3

1.7 ± 0.3

1.7 ± 0.3

T2 (ms)


   Fibroglandular tissue

57.6 ± 7

58 ± 7

58.7 ± 8

60 ± 10

   Adipose tissue

78 ± 4

77 ± 4

77 ± 4

77 ± 4

Data presented as mean ± SD.


The study shows that ADC values are not affected by the normal hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle.

Authors’ Affiliations

University of Aberdeen, UK


© AlRashidi et al. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.