Preliminary Assessment of Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Diffusion-Weighted MRI (IVIM-DWI) Metrics in Alzheimer's Disease

Maurizio Bergamino, Ashley Nespodzany, Leslie C. Baxter, Anna Burke, Richard J. Caselli, Marwan N. Sabbagh, Ryan R. Walsh, Ashley M. Stokes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects aging populations. Current MRI techniques are often limited in their sensitivity to underlying neuropathological changes. Purpose: To characterize differences in voxel-based morphometry (VBM), apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC), and intravoxel incoherent motion diffusion-weighted imaging (IVIM-DWI) metrics in aging populations. Additionally, to investigate the connection between cognitive assessments and neuroimaging metrics. Study Type: Prospective/cross-sectional. Population: In all, 49 subjects, including 13 with AD dementia, 12 with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 24 healthy controls (HC). Field Strength/Sequence: 3T/magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient echo (MP-RAGE) and IVIM-DWI. Assessment: All participants completed a cognitive screening battery prior to MRI. IVIM-DWI maps (pure diffusion coefficient [D], pseudodiffusion coefficient [D*], and perfusion fraction [f]) were generated from a biexponential fit of diffusion MRI data. VBM was performed on the standard T1-weighted MP-RAGE structural images. Group-wise templates were used to compare across groups. Statistical Tests: Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with gender and age as covariates (familywise error [FWE] corrected, post-hoc comparisons using Bonferroni correction) for group comparisons. Partial-η2 and Hedges' g were used for effect-size analysis. Spearman's correlations (false discovery rate [FDR]-corrected) for the relationship between cognitive scores and imaging. Results: Clusters of significant group-wise differences were found mainly in the temporal lobe, hippocampus, and amygdala using all VBM and IVIM methods (P < 0.05 FWE). While VBM showed significant changes between MCI and AD groups and between HC and AD groups, no significant clusters were observed between HC and MCI using VBM. ADC and IVIM-D demonstrated significant changes, at P < 0.05 FWE, between HC and MCI, notably in the amygdala and hippocampus. Several voxel-based correlations were observed between neuroimaging metrics and cognitive tests within the cognitively impaired groups (P < 0.05 FDR). Data Conclusion: These findings suggest that IVIM-DWI metrics may be earlier biomarkers for AD-related changes than VBM. The use of these techniques may provide novel insight into subvoxel neurodegenerative processes. Level of Evidence: 2. Technical Efficacy Stage: 2 J. MAGN. RESON. IMAGING 2020;52:1811–1826.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1811-1826
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • diffusion-weighted MRI
  • intravoxel incoherent motion
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • neurodegeneration
  • voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Preliminary Assessment of Intravoxel Incoherent Motion Diffusion-Weighted MRI (IVIM-DWI) Metrics in Alzheimer's Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this