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BJU Int. 2011 Dec;108(11):1716-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2011.10256.x. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Clinical utility of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging in prostate cancer.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.


What's known on the subject? and What does the study add? This article reviews what is currently known about diffusion weighted MRI (DW-MRI) in prostate cancer. This mini-review concisely summarises, for clinical managing patients with prostate cancer, the clinical utility of diffusion weighted MRI.


• To review the clinical utility of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) in patients with prostate cancer.


• The current literature on prostate cancer and DW-MRI was reviewed.


• DW-MRI can be readily acquired on a modern scanner with a short image acquisition time and no need for i.v. contrast medium. • The image contrast is based on the diffusion of water molecules and thus reflects tissue cellularity. • There is increasing evidence that DW- MRI improves the sensitivity and specificity of prostate cancer detection as well as the identification of tumour aggressiveness. • DW-MRI is also showing substantial promise as a response biomarker for both local and metastatic disease


• DW-MRI is proving to be a useful adjunct to conventional T2-weighted MRI sequences. • The eventual role of DW-MRI in combination with other MRI techniques for multiparametric assessment of prostate cancer needs to be defined further.

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