Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness: In Vivo Assessment of MR Spectroscopy and Diffusion-weighted Imaging at 3 T

T. Kobus, P. Vos, T. Hambrock, M. De Rooij, C. de Hulsbergen-Van Kaa, J. Barentsz, A. Heerschap and T. Scheenen

Radiology 2012;265:457-467.


Purpose:To determine the individual and combined performance of magnetic resonance (MR) spectroscopic imaging and diffusion-weighted (DW) imaging at 3 T in the in vivo assessment of prostate cancer aggressiveness by using histopathologically defined regions of interest on radical prostatectomy specimens to define the prostate cancer regions to be investigated.Materials and Methods:The local institutional ethics review board approved this retrospective study and waived the informed consent requirement. Fifty-four patients with biopsy-proved prostate cancer underwent clinical MR spectroscopic imaging followed by prostatectomy. Guided by the histopathologic map, all spectroscopy voxels that contained tumor tissue were selected, and metabolite ratios (choline [Cho] plus creatine [Cr]-to-citrate [Cit] and Cho/Cr ratios) were derived. For each spectroscopic voxel, 25th percentile apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) of the region corresponding to that voxel was determined, representing the most aberrant tumor part on the ADC map, which was often smaller than spectroscopic imaging voxels. Maximum metabolic ratios and minimum 25th percentile ADC of each tumor were related to tumor aggressiveness and were used to differentiate aggressiveness classes. A logistic regression model (LRM) was used to combine data from both modalities.Results:Significant correlation was found between aggressiveness classes and maximum Cho+Cr/Cit ratio (? = 0.36), maximum Cho/Cr ratio (? = 0.35), and minimum 25th percentile ADC (? = -0.63) in the peripheral zone (PZ). In the transition zone (TZ), the correlation was significant for only Cho+Cr/Cit and Cho/Cr ratios (? = 0.58 and ? = 0.60, respectively). For differentiation between aggressiveness classes, LRM use did not result in significantly improved differentiation over any individual variables.Conclusion:These findings enabled confirmation that MR spectroscopic imaging and DW imaging offer potential for in vivo noninvasive assessment of prostate cancer aggressiveness, and both modalities have comparable performance. The combination did not result in better performance. Nonetheless, the better performances of metabolite ratios in the TZ and of ADCs in the PZ suggest that they have complementary value.A-A?A 1/2 RSNA, 2012.