To establish whether T2 relaxation and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) in normal prostate and tumour are related and to investigate the effects of glandular compression from an enlarged transition zone (TZ) on peripheral zone (PZ) T2 and ADC by correlating them with the peripheral zone fractional volume (PZFV).
48 consecutive patients prospectively underwent multiecho T2 weighted (T2W) (echo times 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 ms) and diffusion-weighted (b=0, 100, 300, 500, 800 s mm−2) endorectal MRI. In 43 evaluable patients, single slice whole PZ, TZ and tumour (focal hypointense signal on T2W images in a biopsy-positive octant) regions of interest were transferred to T2 and ADC maps by slice matching. T2 and ADC values were correlated, and PZ values were correlated with PZFV.
T2 and ADC values were significantly different among groups [T2 mean±standard deviation (SD) PZ, 149±49 ms; TZ, 125±26 ms; tumour, 97±23 ms; PZ vs TZ, p=0.002; PZ vs tumour, p<0.0001; TZ vs tumour, p<0.0001; ADC×10−6 mm2 s−1 mean±SD PZ, 1680±215; TZ, 1478±139; tumour, 1030±205; p<0.0001]. Significant positive correlations existed between T2 and ADC for PZ, TZ, PZ and TZ together, but not for tumour (r=0.515, p<0.0001; r=0.300, p=0.03; r=0.526, p<0.0001; and r=0.239, p=0.32, respectively). No significant correlation existed between PZFV and PZ T2 (r=0.10, p=0.5) or ADC (r=0.03, p=0.8).
The correlation between T2 and ADC that exists in normal prostate is absent in tumour. PZ compression by an enlarged TZ does not alter PZ T2 or ADC to affect tumour–PZ contrast.
Advances in Knowledge:
Microstructural features of tumours alter diffusivity independently of their effects on T2 relaxation.