Physically implausible signals as a quantitative quality assessment metric in prostate diffusion-weighted MR imaging

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2022 Jul;47(7):2500-2508. doi: 10.1007/s00261-022-03542-0. Epub 2022 May 18.


Purpose: To provide a quantitative assessment of diffusion-weighted MR images of the prostate through identification of PIDS which clearly represents artifacts in the data. We calculated the percentage and distribution of PIDS in prostate DWI and compare the amount of PIDS between mpMRI images obtained with and without an endorectal coil.

Methods: This IRB approved retrospective study (from 03/03/2014 to 03/10/2020), included 40 patients scanned with endorectal coil (ERC) and 40 without ER coil (NERC). PIDS contains any voxel where: (1) the diffusion signal increases despite an increase in b-value; and/or (2) apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) is more than 3.0 μm2/ms (the ADC of pure water at 37 °C and it is physically implausible for any material to have a higher ADC). PIDS for transition zone (TZ) and peripheral zone (PZ) was calculated using an in-house MATLAB program. DWI images were quantitatively inspected for noise, motion, and distortion. T-test was used to compare the difference between PIDS levels in ERC versus NERC and ANOVA to compare the PIDS levels in the anatomic zones. The images were evaluated by a fellowship-trained radiologist in Abdominal Imaging with more than 10 years of experience in reading prostate MRI. This was tested only in prostate in this study.

Results: 80 patients (58 ± 8 years old, 80 men) were evaluated. The percentage of voxels exhibiting PIDS was 17.1 ± 8.1% for the ERC cohort and 22.2 ± 15.5% for the NERC cohort. PIDS for NERC versus ERC were not significantly different (p = 0.14). The apex and base showed similar percentages of PIDS in ERC (p = 0.30) and NERC (p = 0.86). The mid (13.8 ± 8.6%) in ERC showed lower values (p = 0.02) of PIDS compared to apex (19.9 ± 11.1%) and base (17.5 ± 8.3%).

Conclusion: PIDS maps provide a spatially resolved quantitative quality assessment for prostate DWI. Average PIDS over the entire prostate were similar for the ERC and NERC cohorts, and did not differ significantly across prostate zones. However, for many of the patients, PIDS was focally much higher in specific prostate zones. PIDS assessment can guide Radiologist's evaluation of images and the development of improved DWI sequences.

Keywords: Diffusion-weighted MRI; Multiparametric MRI; Prostate DWI; Quality assessment; Quantitative measurement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate* / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies