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To evaluate readout-segmented echoplanar (rsEPI) diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) for multiparametric (mp) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate compared to the established single-shot echoplanar imaging (ssEPI) sequence.

One hundred ten consecutive patients with clinical suspicion of prostate cancer underwent mp prostate MRI using both, the ssEPI and the rsEPI DWI sequence. For an objective assessment, delineation of the prostate shape on both DWI sequences was compared to T2-weighted images by measuring organ diameters. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values, image contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) were compared between the 2 sequences on a region-of-interest-based analysis. Diagnostic accuracy for quantitative ADC-values was calculated. Histopathology from MRI/ultrasound fusion-guided biopsy was used as reference standard. For a subjective assessment, 2 independent readers visually assessed image quality of both sequences using Likert-scales.

Delineation of the prostate shape was more accurate with rsEPI compared to ssEPI. ADC values in target lesions were not significantly different but significantly higher in the surrounding normal prostatic tissue of the transition zone. CNR was comparable between ssEPI and rsEPI. Sensitivity and specificity were good for both sequences with 84/84% and 82/73% with a Youden selected cut-off of ADC = 0.971*10-3 mm2/s for rsEPI and 1.017*10-3 mm2/s for ssEPI. Anatomic artifacts were significantly less and SNR was lower on rsEPI compared to ssEPI in the subjective analysis.

Delineation of the prostate shape was more accurate with rsEPI DWI than with ssEPI DWI with less anatomic artifacts and higher subjective SNR and image quality on rsEPI DW images. Diagnostic ability of quantitative ADC-values was not significantly different between the 2 sequences. Thus, rsEPI DWI might be more suitable for prostate MRI with regard to MRI-guided targeted biopsy and therapy planning.

Copyright (C) 2019 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.