Detecting prostate cancer with MRI

The use of MRI without endorectal coil can detect prostate cancer and provide undistorted images with diagnostic image quality and accurate tumour localisation, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.

"The 3T MRI datasets were acquired without an endorectal coil and were used during robotic surgery," said Steffen Sammet, MD, PhD, lead author of the study. "Since the use of an endorectal coil leads to deformation of the prostate and potentially altered microcirculation, our goal was to assess the capability of detecting prostate cancer areas by dynamic contrast enhanced MRI without endorectal coil at 3T validated by correlation with surgical pathology," he said.

The study included 13 patients with prostate cancer who were scheduled for prostatectomy and were imaged on a 3T MRI. The researchers noted suspicious areas, tumour location, extracapsulation (the extent of the tumour outside the capsule of the prostate and is a associated with a unfavourable prognosis), and seminal vesicle involvement. Once this was complete, 3D reconstruction of the prostate, tumour neurovascular bundle and surrounding tissue was performed and used as an intra-operative "roadmap".

According to the study, cancer was correctly localised in 11 of the 13 patients. There was an agreement with pathology in 10 of the 13 patients regarding extracapsulation and 11 of 13 regarding seminal vesicle involvement. The study showed that 3D reconstruction was useful for the surgical roadmap in all 13 cases.

"High field MRI enables the acquisition of undistorted prostate images without endorectal coil. The high signal to noise ratio and the image quality of the prostate and the surrounding tissue may, in the future, allow us to detect prostate cancer at an earlier stage," said Dr. Sammet.

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