MRI Findings After MRI-Guided Focal Laser Ablation of Prostate Cancer

AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2018 Sep;211(3):595-604. doi: 10.2214/AJR.17.19201. Epub 2018 Jul 11.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to describe the quantitative and qualitative findings of multiparametric prostate MRI performed after MRI-guided focal laser ablation of prostate cancer.

Materials and methods: A total of 27 consenting patients met the study inclusion criteria, which included but were not limited to the presence of clinical category T1c-T2a prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 7 or less, having undergone prostate biopsy before and after focal laser ablation, and having undergone MRI before ablation, immediately after ablation, and 3 and 12 months after ablation. Signal changes were evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively and were then correlated with the results of subsequent biopsy performed at 3 and 12 months after ablation.

Results: MRI performed immediately after ablation revealed a hypovascular defect in the ablation zone, with patchy or bandlike decreased T2 signal most commonly noted at 3 months (in 66.7% of ablated lesions) and T2 scarring observed in most lesions (66.7%) at 12 months. Patchy or bandlike decreased apparent diffusion coefficient signal and scarlike changes were most prevalent at 3 months after ablation (50.0% of lesions), and these features remained the most commonly observed findings at 12 months after ablation (27.8% of lesions). At 12 months after ablation, 10 patients were found to have recurrent tumor, with three patients found to have persistent cancer when biopsy was performed at the ablation site. All postablation biopsy cases with positive results showed suspicious T2 and apparent diffusion coefficient characteristics, which were considered to be a well-defined nodular intermediate signal on both of these sequences. Two of the patients for whom positive biopsy findings were noted had focal enhancement of the ablation zone. A significant reduction in the forward volume transfer constant after ablation was found at the ablation site on follow-up examination.

Conclusion: Multiparametric MRI can reveal postablation changes in the prostate and can be a valuable tool for monitoring patients who have undergone MRI-guided focal laser ablation.

Keywords: MRI; focal laser ablation; postablation; prostate; prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Image-Guided Biopsy
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Interventional*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm, Residual
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome