Histological validation of prostate tissue composition measurement using hybrid multi-dimensional MRI: agreement with pathologists' measures

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2022 Feb;47(2):801-813. doi: 10.1007/s00261-021-03371-7. Epub 2021 Dec 8.


Purpose: To validate prostate tissue composition measured using hybrid multi-dimensional MRI (HM-MRI) by comparing with reference standard (ground truth) results from pathologists' interpretation of clinical histopathology slides following whole mount prostatectomy.

Materials and methods: 36 prospective participants with biopsy-confirmed prostate cancer underwent 3 T MRI prior to radical prostatectomy. Axial HM-MRI was acquired with all combinations of echo times of 57, 70, 150, 200 ms and b-values of 0, 150, 750, 1500 s/mm2 and data were fitted using a 3-compartment signal model using custom software to generate volumes for each tissue component (stroma, epithelium, lumen). Three experienced genitourinary pathologists independently as well as in consensus reviewed each histology image and provide an estimate of percentage of epithelium and lumen for regions-of-interest corresponding to MRI (n = 165; 64 prostate cancers and 101 benign tissue). Agreement statistics using total deviation index (TDI0.9) was performed for tissue composition measured using HM-MRI and reference standard results from pathologists' consensus.

Results: Based on the initial results showing typical variation among pathologists TDI0.9 = 25%, we determined we will declare acceptable agreement if the 95% one-sided upper confident limit of TDI0.9 is less than 30%. The results of tissue composition measurement from HM-MRI compared to ground truth results from the consensus of 3 pathologists, reveal that ninety percent of absolute paired differences (TDI0.9) were within 18.8% and 22.4% in measuring epithelium and lumen, respectively. We are 95% confident that 90% of absolute paired differences were within 20.6% and 24.2% in measuring epithelium and lumen, respectively. These were less than our criterion of 30% and inter-pathologists' agreement (22.3% for epithelium and 24.2% for lumen) and therefore we accept the agreement performance of HM-MRI. The results revealed excellent area under the ROC curve for differentiating cancer from benign tissue based on epithelium (HM-MRI: 0.87, pathologists: 0.97) and lumen volume (HM-MRI: 0.85, pathologists: 0.77).

Conclusion: The agreement in tissue composition measurement using hybrid multidimensional MRI and consensus of pathologists is on par with the inter-raters (pathologists) agreement.

Keywords: Hybrid multi-dimensional MRI; Pathologists; Prostate cancer; Tissue composition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Pathologists
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostate* / pathology
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology