MR Spectroscopy in Prostate Cancer: New Algorithms to Optimize Metabolite Quantification

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common non-cutaneous cancer in male subjects and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in developed countries. The necessity of a non-invasive technique for the diagnosis of PCa in early stage has grown through years. Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy imaging (1H-MRSI) are advanced magnetic resonance techniques that can mark the presence of metabolites such as citrate, choline, creatine and polyamines in a selected voxel, or in an array of voxels (in MRSI) inside prostatic tissue. Abundance or lack of these metabolites can discriminate between pathological and healthy tissue. Although the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) is well established in brain and liver with dedicated software for spectral analysis, quantification of metabolites in prostate can be very difficult to achieve, due to poor signal to noise ratio and strong J-coupling of the citrate. The aim of this work is to develop a software prototype for automatic quantification of citrate, choline and creatine in prostate. Its core is an original fitting routine that makes use of a fixed step gradient descent minimization algorithm (FSGD) and MRS simulations developed with the GAMMA libraries in C++. The accurate simulation of the citrate spin systems allows to predict the correct J-modulation under different NMR sequences and under different coupling parameters. The accuracy of the quantifications was tested on measurements performed on a Philips Ingenia 3T scanner using homemade phantoms. Some acquisitions in healthy volunteers have been also carried out to test the software performance in vivo.

PloS one. 2016 Nov 10*** epublish ***

Giovanni Bellomo, Francesco Marcocci, David Bianchini, Emilio Mezzenga, Vincenzo D'Errico, Enrico Menghi, Romano Zannoli, Anna Sarnelli

Medical Physics Unit, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, FC, Italy., Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine Department DIMES, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy.