Background: Diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) is commonly used to detect prostate cancer, and a major clinical challenge is differentiating aggressive from indolent disease. Purpose: To compare 14 site-specific parametric fitting implementations applied to the same dataset of whole-mount pathologically validated DWI to test the hypothesis that cancer differentiation varies with different fitting algorithms. Study Type: Prospective. Population: Thirty-three patients prospectively imaged prior to prostatectomy. Field Strength/Sequence: 3 T, field-of-view optimized and constrained undistorted single-shot DWI sequence. Assessment: Datasets, including a noise-free digital reference object (DRO), were distributed to the 14 teams, where locally implemented DWI parameter maps were calculated, including mono-exponential apparent diffusion coefficient (MEADC), kurtosis (K), diffusion kurtosis (DK), bi-exponential diffusion (BID), pseudo-diffusion (BID*), and perfusion fraction (F). The resulting parametric maps were centrally analyzed, where differentiation of benign from cancerous tissue was compared between DWI parameters and the fitting algorithms with a receiver operating characteristic area under the curve (ROC AUC). Statistical Test: Levene's test, P < 0.05 corrected for multiple comparisons was considered statistically significant. Results: The DRO results indicated minimal discordance between sites. Comparison across sites indicated that K, DK, and MEADC had significantly higher prostate cancer detection capability (AUC range = 0.72–0.76, 0.76–0.81, and 0.76–0.80 respectively) as compared to bi-exponential parameters (BID, BID*, F) which had lower AUC and greater between site variation (AUC range = 0.53–0.80, 0.51–0.81, and 0.52–0.80 respectively). Post-processing parameters also affected the resulting AUC, moving from, for example, 0.75 to 0.87 for MEADC varying cluster size. Data Conclusion: We found that conventional diffusion models had consistent performance at differentiating prostate cancer from benign tissue. Our results also indicated that post-processing decisions on DWI data can affect sensitivity and specificity when applied to radiological–pathological studies in prostate cancer. Level of Evidence: 1. Technical Efficacy: Stage 3.
- multisite |modelling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging