3D high-resolution diffusion-weighted MRI at 3T: Preliminary application in prostate cancer patients undergoing active surveillance protocol for low-risk prostate cancer

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To improve spatial resolution and image quality of diffusion-weighted (DW) MRI in detecting low-risk prostate cancer (lrPC) in patients undergoing active surveillance protocol (AS-PC), we propose the application of a diffusion-prepared balanced steady-state free precession (bSSFP) technique capable of multishot acquisition.


Diffusion-prepared bSSFP was compared with single-shot DW echo planar imaging (SS-DW-EPI) at two prescribed resolutions (2.1 × 2.1 × 3.5mm3, 0.9 × 0.9 × 3.5 mm3) in nine healthy subjects and nine AS-PC patients. Geometric distortion and susceptibility artifacts were quantitatively assessed in all subjects. In AS-PC patients, lesion detection via blinded multiparametric MRI including T1-weighted, T2-weighted, dynamic contrast-enhanced imaging, and along with either of two DW methods were evaluated against 12-point biopsy.


Geometric distortion and susceptibility artifacts were significantly less for diffusion-prepared bSSFP at both prescribed spatial resolutions than SS-DW-EPI. Apparent diffusion coefficients of healthy prostate tissue were concordant between the two DW methods at both spatial resolutions. In AS-PC patients, multiparametric MRI with diffusion-prepared bSSFP had greater sensitivity (94%, 63%), accuracy (76%, 67%), positive-predictive value (54%, 48%), negative-predictive value (97%, 82%), and area under the curve (0.80, 0.67) than with SS-DW-EPI.


The proposed diffusion-prepared technique with higher spatial resolution and improved image quality over SS-DW-EPI resulted in better multiparametric MRI detection of lrPC in AS-PC patients. Magn Reson Med 75:616–626, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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