O Akin, E Sala, CS Moskowitz, K Kuroiwa, NM Ishill, D Pucar, PT Scardino, H Hricak
PURPOSE: To retrospectively evaluate the accuracy of endorectal magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in the detection and local staging of transition zone prostate cancers, with pathologic analysis serving as the reference standard, and to assess MR imaging features of these cancers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The institutional review board approved this HIPAA-compliant retrospective study and waived the informed consent requirement. An institutional database of 986 patients who underwent MR imaging before radical prostatectomy yielded 148 consecutive patients with at least one transition zone cancer at step-section pathologic analysis. An additional 46 patients without transition zone cancer were randomly selected as a control group. Two readers independently reviewed MR studies to identify patients with transition zone cancers and determine the location and local extent of these cancers. Imaging features that helped in the identification of transition zone cancers were recorded. Descriptive and kappa statistics, as well as receiver operating characteristic and multivariate logistic regression analyses, were used. RESULTS: For identification of patients with transition zone cancers, sensitivity and specificity were 75% and 87%, respectively, for reader 1 and 80% and 78%, respectively, for reader 2. Interreader agreement was fair. For detection of the location of transition zone cancer, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.75 for reader 1 and 0.73 for reader 2. Interreader agreement was fair. The readers' accuracy in detecting transition zone cancer foci increased significantly (P=.001) as tumor volume increased. In the detection of extraprostatic extension of transition zone cancers, sensitivity and specificity were 56% and 94%, respectively, for reader 1 and 28% and 93%, respectively, for reader 2. Homogeneous low T2 signal intensity (P=.001 for reader 1, P<.001 for reader 2) and lenticular shape (P=.017 for reader 1) were significantly associated with the presence of transition zone cancer. CONCLUSION: MR imaging can be used to detect, localize, and stage transition zone prostate cancers.