Purpose: To determine the clinical feasibility of MR spectroscopy (MRS) of prostate cancer using external multi-channel surface coils at 1.5T. Materials and methods. Retrospective study of 31 patients with prostate cancer who underwent MRS as part of the staging work-up prior to radical prostatectomy. The ratio of the three main metabolites ([choline + creatine]/citrate) were measured along with spectral analysis of different regions of interest (ROI) placed in areas of normal tissue and cancer using the surgical specimen as the standard of reference.
Results: One hundred and eighty-three voxels were analyzed. Qualitative visual analysis identified pathological spectra in 88.5% of cancer ROI, 11.7% of normal transitional zone ROI and 1.6% of normal peripheral zone ROI. The ratios of normal prostate tissue were significantly more elevated (p<0.0001) in the transition zone (0.41 +/- 0.24) than in the peripheral zone (0.22 +/- 0.36). Tumor containing voxels had significantly higher ratios (2.84 +/- 2.74) than normal tissue containing voxels of the transition zone (p<0.0001) and peripheral zone (p<0.0001).
Conclusion: Prostate MRS using external surface coils appears routinely feasible at 1.5T, even though it presents some limitations.