Prostate cancer: Comparison of 3D T2-weighted with conventional 2D T2-weighted imaging for image quality and tumor detection

Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, Jeffry Neil, Xiangtian Kong, Jonathan Melamed, James S. Babb, Samir S. Taneja, Bachir Taouli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to compare a 3D T2-weighted imaging sequence with a conventional multiplanar 2D turbo spin-echo T2-weighted sequence in terms of tumor detection and staging of prostate cancer, as well as image quality. MATERIALS AND METHODS. Before prostatectomy, 38 men (mean age, 60 years) with prostate cancer underwent MRI of the prostate with multiplanar 2D turbo spin-echo T2-weighted sequences (total acquisition time, ≈ 11 minutes 4 seconds) and a 3D T2-weighted sampling perfection with application optimized contrasts sequence with different flip angle evolutions (SPACE) (acquisition time, ≈ 3 minutes 52 seconds). Two blinded observers in consensus reviewed 2D turbo spin-echo T2-weighted images and SPACE images for detection of peripheral zone cancer, extracapsular extension, and seminal vesicle invasion. The observers also assessed subjective image quality and measured the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of normal peripheral zone and tumor-to-peripheral zone contrast. Prostatectomy was used as the reference standard. The diagnostic accuracy of the two sequences was assessed with generalized estimating equations and McNemar tests. The agreement between sequences was assessed with kappa coefficients. A paired Wilcoxon signed rank test was used to compare the subjective image quality, SNR, and tumor-to-peripheral zone contrast of the two sequences. RESULTS. For tumor detection and diagnosis of extracapsular extension, there was substantial agreement between the two sequences (κ = 0.79, κ = 0.76) with no difference in sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, accuracy (p = 0.25-1), or image quality (p = 0.937). Images obtained with the 2D turbo spin-echo sequence had a significantly higher SNR ratio for normal peripheral zone (p = 0.0010), but SPACE images had significantly greater tumor-to-peripheral zone contrast (p < 0.0001). CONCLUSION. In comparison with conventional multiplanar 2D turbo spin-echo MRI of the prostate, 3D T2-weighted SPACE MRI was associated with substantial time saving (nearly 8 minutes), had similar image quality and accuracy in the diagnosis of tumor and extracapsular extension, and had better tumor conspicuity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-452
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • 3D T2-weighted imaging
  • MRI
  • Prostate cancer
  • T2-weighted imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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