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Magn Reson Imaging. 2018 Nov;53:28-33. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2018.06.004. Epub 2018 Jun 15.

Influence of arterial input function (AIF) on quantitative prostate dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) MRI and zonal prostate anatomy.

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University Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, D-40225 Dusseldorf, Germany.
University Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, D-40225 Dusseldorf, Germany. Electronic address:
University Dusseldorf, Medical Faculty, Department of Urology, D-40225 Dusseldorf, Germany.



Reproducibility of quantitative perfusion analysis of DCE requires a standardized AIF acquisition. However, there are many different approaches for AIF assessment so that the absolute values of perfusion parameters may vary depending on the used method. This study analyzes the influence of the method of AIF determination on quantitative DCE-MRI.


In this retrospective, single-center, cohort study three different methods of AIF determination in 50 consecutive patients with multiparametric MRI of the prostate were conducted. As a reference, AIF was selected manually by defining a region of interest in an artery manually (AIFm). The second method (AIFa), based on an automated algorithm and the third, population-derived AIFp where then compared. Primary endpoint were differences in the performance of the perfusion parameters Ktrans, ve and kep regarding the AIF acquisition methods, secondary endpoints consisted of the evaluation of differences in the peripheral and transition zone of the prostate (PZ, TZ).


In all three methods, Ktrans, ve, and kep were significantly higher in PZ than in TZ with Ktrans showing least overlapping. There were no significant differences for Ktrans determined with AIFm and AIFa (0.3 ± 0.2 min-1 for PZ for both and 0.5 ± 0.3 min-1 for TZ in AIFm and 0.4 ± 0.3 min-1 in AIFa), while there were great differences between AIFa and AIFp and AIFm and AIFp (0.1 ± 0.03 min-1 for TZ and PZ in AIFp). Spearman test demonstrated good correlation of values for Ktrans and kep in all 3 methods (ρ ≥ 0.76). AIFa showed a success rate of 98% in finding the artery.


AIFa is a recommendable user-independent automatical method to determine quantitative perfusion parameters allowing an objective measurement and saving interactive time for the radiologist. AIFp may be applied as second alternative method.


Arterial input function; Dynamic contrast enhanced imaging; Prostate MRI; Quantitative perfusion parameters; Tofts model

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