Chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) can potentially support cancer imaging with metabolically derived information. Multiparametric prostate MRI has improved diagnosis but may benefit from additional information to reduce the need for biopsies.
To optimize an acquisition and postprocessing protocol for 3.0 T multipool CEST analysis of prostate data and evaluate the repeatability of the technique.
Five healthy volunteers (age range: 24–47 years; median age: 28 years) underwent two sessions (interval range: 7–27 days; median interval: 20 days) and two biopsy‐proven prostate cancer patients were evaluated once. Patient 1 (71 years) had a Gleason 3 + 4 transition zone (TZ) tumor and patient 2 (55 years) had a Gleason 4 + 3 peripheral zone (PZ) tumor.
3.0 T. Sequences run: T2‐weighted turbo‐spin‐echo (TSE); diffusion‐weighted imaging; CEST; WASABI (for B0 determination).
Saturation, readout, and fit‐model parameters were optimized to maximize in vivo amide and nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) signals. Repeatability (intrasession and intersession) was evaluated in healthy volunteers. Subsequently, preliminary evaluation of signal differences was made in patients. Regions of interest were drawn by two post‐FRCR board‐certified readers, both with over 5 years of experience in multiparametric prostate MRI.
Repeatability was assessed using Bland–Altman analysis, coefficient of variation (CV), and 95% limits of agreement (LOA). Statistical significance of CEST contrast was calculated using a nonparametric Mann–Whitney U‐test.
The optimized saturation scheme was found to be 60 sinc‐Gaussian pulses with 40 msec pulse duration, at 50% duty‐cycle with continuous‐wave pulse equivalent B1 power (B1CWPE) of 0.92 μT. The magnetization transfer (MT) contribution to the fit‐model was centered at –1.27 ppm. Intersession coefficients of variation (CVs) of the amide, NOE, and magnetization transfer (MT) and asymmetric magnetization transfer ratio (MTRasym) signals of 25%, 23%, 18%, and 200%, respectively, were observed. Fit‐metric and MTRasym CVs agreed between readers to within 4 and 10 percentage points, respectively.
Signal differences of 0.03–0.10 (17–43%) detectable depending upon pool, with MT the most repeatable (signal difference of 17–22% detectable).
Level of Evidence: 2
Technical Efficacy: Stage 2
J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2019;50:1238–1250.