Diffusion-Weighted Imaging With Apparent Diffusion Coefficient Mapping and Spectroscopy in Prostate Cancer

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Prostate cancer is a major health problem, and the exploration of noninvasive imaging methods that have the potential to improve specificity while maintaining high sensitivity is still critically needed. Tissue changes induced by tumor growth can be visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods. Current MRI methods include conventional T2-weighted imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) with apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) mapping and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Techniques such as DWI/ADC provide functional information about the behavior of water molecules in tissue; MRS can provide biochemical information about the presence or absence of certain metabolites, such as choline, creatine, and citrate. Finally, vascular parameters can be investigated using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI. Moreover, with whole-body MRI and DWI, metastatic disease can be evaluated in 1 session and may provide a way to monitor treatment. Therefore, when combining these various methods, a multiparametric data set can be built to assist in the detection, localization, assessment of prostate cancer aggressiveness, and tumor staging. Such a comprehensive approach offers more power to evaluate prostate disease than any single measure alone. In this article, we focus on the role of DWI/ADC and MRS in the detection and characterization using both in vivo and ex vivo imaging of prostate pathology.

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