Magnetic resonance diffusion characteristics of histologically defined prostate cancer in humans

Junqian Xu, Peter A. Humphrey, Adam S. Kibel, Abraham Z. Snyder, Vamsidhar R. Narra, Joseph J.H. Ackerman, Sheng Kwei Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


The contrast provided by diffusion-sensitive magnetic resonance offers the promise of improved tumor localization in organ-confined human prostate cancer (PCa). Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) measurements of PCa were performed in vivo, in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy, and later, ex vivo, in the same patients' prostatectomy specimens. The imaging data were coregistered to histological sections of the prostatectomy specimens, thereby enabling unambiguous characterization of diffusion parameters in cancerous and benign tissues. Increased cellularity, and hence decreased luminal spaces, in peripheral zone PCa led to approximately 40% and 50% apparent diffusion policy (ADC) decrease compared with benign peripheral zone tissues in vivo and ex vivo, respectively. In contrast, no significant diffusion anisotropy differences were observed between the cancerous and noncancerous peripheral zone tissues. However, the dense fibromuscular tissues in prostate, such as stromal tissues in benign prostatic hyperplasia in central gland, exhibited high diffusion anisotropy. A tissue classification method is proposed to combine DTI and T2- weighted image contrasts that may provide improved specificity of PCa detection over T2-weIghted imaging alone. PCa identified in volume rendered MR images qualitatively correlates well with histologically determined PCa foci.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)842-850
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC)
  • Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)
  • Fractional anisotropy (FA)
  • Prostate carcinoma (PCa)


Dive into the research topics of 'Magnetic resonance diffusion characteristics of histologically defined prostate cancer in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this