Quality comparison between three-dimensional T2-weighted SPACE and two-dimensional T2-weighted turbo spin echo magnetic resonance images for the brachytherapy planning evaluation of prostate and periprostatic anatomy

Bladder Cancer

Bathala TK, et al. Brachytherapy 2020.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare an isotropic three-dimensional (3D) T2-weighted sequence sampling perfection with application-optimized contrasts by using flip angle evolution (SPACE) with an axial two-dimensional T2-weighted turbo spin echo (TSE) sequence with regard to overall image quality and the delineation of normal prostate and periprostatic anatomy for low-dose-rate prostate cancer brachytherapy planning evaluation.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: Patients (n = 69) with prostate cancer who had pelvic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for low-dose-rate brachytherapy treatment planning were included. Three radiologists independently assessed the visibility of nine anatomic structures on each sequence by using a 5-point scale and overall image quality by using a 4-point scale. The significance of the differences in diagnostic performance was tested with a Wilcoxon signed rank test.

RESULTS: No significant intersequence differences were found for most (7/9) anatomical structures and overall image quality. The mean scores for visibility of anatomical structures on the 3D SPACE and 2D TSE sequences, respectively, were as follows: the zonal anatomy (3.7; 3.9, p = 0.05), prostate capsule (3.9; 4.0, p = 0.08), neurovascular bundle (2.9; 2.9, p = 0.9), rectoprostatic angle (3.8; 3.8, p = 0.35), rectum (4.2; 4.3, p = 0.26), urethra (3.8; 3.9, p = 0.12), urinary bladder (4.6; 4.6, p = 0.61), and overall image quality (2.9; 2.9, p = 0.33). 3D SPACE was superior for delineation of the genitourinary diaphragm (3.8; 3.6, p = 0.003), whereas 2D TSE was superior for delineation of the seminal vesicles (3.5; 4.0, p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: Anatomic delineation of the prostatic and periprostatic anatomy provided by the 3D SPACE sequence is as robust in quality as that provided by a conventional 2D TSE sequence with superior delineation of the genitourinary diaphragm. For MRI-based brachytherapy treatment planning, the 3D SPACE sequence with subcentimeter isotropic resolution can replace the 2D TSE sequence and be incorporated into standard MRI protocols.