Objectives. To explore the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with gadolinium enhancement as a noninvasive method to image the extent of ablation after minimally invasive treatment. Minimally invasive methods for ablating prostatic tissue have emerged as a viable option in the treatment of prostate disease. As these devices enter the mainstream of patient care, imaging methods that verify the exact location, extent, and pattern of the ablation are needed. Methods. Nineteen patients with prostate cancer were evaluated. All received some type of minimally invasive treatment, post-treatment gadolinium-enhanced MRI sequences, and radical retropubic prostatectomy for histopathologic evaluation. Visual comparisons of gadolinium defects and areas of coagulation necrosis as seen on histopathologic evaluation were made by us. Volumetric and two-dimensional area measurements of the ablation lesions were also compared for correlation between the MRI and histopathologic results. Results. Gadolinium-enhanced MRI could be matched to histopathologic findings by visual comparison in 17 of the 19 cases. Surgically distorted histopathologic specimens and a small periurethral lesion caused 2 patients to have MRI and histopathologic results that could not be matched. Complete volumetric measurements were available for 16 of the 19 patients and correlated strongly (r = 0.924). The two-dimensional area data for all patients also showed significant correlation (r = 0.886). Conclusions. Correlation with histopathologic findings showed gadolinium-enhanced MRI to be useful for determining the location, pattern, and extent of necrosis caused within the prostate by minimally invasive techniques. Gadolinium-enhanced MRI gives the urologist a useful tool to evaluate the effectiveness of new minimally invasive therapies.
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