Magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) provides a noninvasive method of detecting small molecular markers (historically the metabolites choline and citrate) within the cytosol and extracellular spaces of the prostate, and is performed in conjunction with high-resolution anatomic imaging. Recent studies in pre-prostatectomy patients have indicated that the metabolic information provided by MRSI combined with the anatomical information provided by MRI can significantly improve the assessment of cancer location and extent within the prostate, extracapsular spread, and cancer aggressiveness. Additionally, pre- and post-therapy studies have demonstrated the potential of MRI/MRSI to provide a direct measure of the presence and spatial extent of prostate cancer after therapy, a measure of the time course of response, and information concerning the mechanism of therapeutic response. In addition to detecting metabolic biomarkers of disease behavior and therapeutic response, MRI/MRSI guidance can improve tissue selection for ex vivo analysis. High-resolution magic angle spinning ((1)H HR-MAS) spectroscopy provides a full chemical analysis of MRI/MRSI-targeted tissues prior to pathologic and immunohistochemical analyses of the same tissue. Preliminary (1)H HR-MAS spectroscopy studies have already identified unique spectral patterns for healthy glandular and stromal tissues and prostate cancer, determined the composition of the composite in vivo choline peak, and identified the polyamine spermine as a new metabolic marker of prostate cancer. The addition of imaging sequences that provide other functional information within the same exam (dynamic contrast uptake imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging) have also demonstrated the potential to further increase the accuracy of prostate cancer detection and characterization.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.