Ultrasound-contrast-agent dispersion and velocity imaging for prostate cancer localization

Med Image Anal. 2017 Jan:35:610-619. doi: 10.1016/j.media.2016.09.010. Epub 2016 Oct 1.


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men; however, reliable tools for detection and localization are still lacking. Dynamic Contrast Enhanced UltraSound (DCE-US) is a diagnostic tool that is suitable for analysis of vascularization, by imaging an intravenously injected microbubble bolus. The localization of angiogenic vascularization associated with the development of tumors is of particular interest. Recently, methods for the analysis of the bolus convective dispersion process have shown promise to localize angiogenesis. However, independent estimation of dispersion was not possible due to the ambiguity between convection and dispersion. Therefore, in this study we propose a new method that considers the vascular network as a dynamic linear system, whose impulse response can be locally identified. To this end, model-based parameter estimation is employed, that permits extraction of the apparent dispersion coefficient (D), velocity (v), and Péclet number (Pe) of the system. Clinical evaluation using data recorded from 25 patients shows that the proposed method can be applied effectively to DCE-US, and is able to locally characterize the hemodynamics, yielding promising results (receiver-operating-characteristic curve area of 0.84) for prostate cancer localization.

Keywords: Dispersion and velocity; Dynamic contrast enhanced ultrasound; Prostate cancer; System identification.

MeSH terms

  • Contrast Media*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • ROC Curve
  • Ultrasonography / instrumentation
  • Ultrasonography / methods*


  • Contrast Media