Tissue stiffness is known to undergo alterations when affected by prostate cancer and may serve as an indicator of the disease. Stiffness measurements can be made with magnetic resonance elastography performed using a transurethral actuator to generate shear waves in the prostate gland. The goal of this study was to help determine the imaging requirements of transurethral magnetic resonance elastography and to evaluate whether the spatial and stiffness resolution of this technique overlapped with the requirements for prostate cancer detection. Through the use of prostate-mimicking gelatin phantoms, frequencies of at least 400 Hz were necessary to obtain accurate stiffness measurements of 10 mm diameter inclusions, but the detection of inclusions with diameters as small as 4.75 mm was possible at 200 Hz. The shear wave attenuation coefficient was measured in vivo in the canine prostate gland, and was used to predict the detectable penetration depth of shear waves in prostate tissue. These results suggested that frequencies below 200 Hz could propagate to the prostate boundary with a signal to noise ratio (SNR) of 60 and an actuator capable of producing 60 μm displacements. These requirements are achievable with current imaging and actuator technologies, and motivate further investigation of magnetic resonance elastography for the targeting of prostate cancer.
- MR elastography
- prostate imaging
- tissue stiffness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging