Background: Standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate lacks sensitivity in the diagnosis and staging of prostate cancer (PCa). To improve the operating characteristics of prostate MRI in the detection and characterization of PCa, we developed a novel, enhanced MRI diffusion technique using restriction spectrum imaging (RSI-MRI).
Methods: We compared the efficacy of our novel RSI-MRI technique with standard MRI for detecting extraprostatic extension (EPE) among 28 PCa patients who underwent MRI and RSI-MRI prior to radical prostatectomy, 10 with histologically proven pT3 disease. RSI cellularity maps isolating the restricted isotropic water fraction were reconstructed based on all b-values and then standardized across the sample with z-score maps. Distortion correction of the RSI maps was performed using the alternating phase-encode technique.
Results: 27 patients were evaluated, excluding one patient where distortion could not be performed. Preoperative standard MRI correctly identified extraprostatic the extension in two of the nine pT3 (22%) patients, whereas RSI-MRI identified EPE in eight of nine (89%) patients. RSI-MRI correctly identified pT2 disease in the remaining 18 patients.
Conclusions: In this proof of principle study, we conclude that our novel RSI-MRI technology is feasible and shows promise for substantially improving PCa imaging. Further translational studies of prostate RSI-MRI in the diagnosis and staging of PCa are indicated.