Clinical comparison between a currently available single-loop and an investigational dual-channel endorectal receive coil for prostate magnetic resonance imaging: a feasibility study at 1.5 and 3 T

E.K. Vos, S. Sambandamurthy, M. Kamel, R. McKenney, M.J. van Uden, C.M.A. Hoeks, D. Yakar, T.W.J. Scheenen and J.J. Fütterer

Investigative Radiology 2014;49:15-22



The objectives of this study were to test the feasibility of an investigational dual-channel next-generation endorectal coil (NG-ERC) in vivo, to quantitatively assess signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and to get an impression of image quality compared with the current clinically available single-loop endorectal coil (ERC) for prostate magnetic resonance imaging at both 1.5 and 3 T.The study was approved by the institutional review board, and written informed consent was obtained from all patients. In total, 8 consecutive patients with prostate cancer underwent a local staging magnetic resonance examination with the successive use of both coils in 1 session (4 patients at 1.5 T and 4 other patients at 3 T). Quantitative comparison of both coils was performed for the apex, mid-gland and base levels at both field strengths by calculating SNR profiles in the axial plane on an imaginary line in the anteroposterior direction perpendicular to the coil surface. Two radiologists independently assessed the image quality of the T2-weighted and apparent diffusion coefficient maps calculated from diffusion-weighted imaging using a 5-point scale. Improvement of geometric distortion on diffusion-weighted imaging with the use of parallel imaging was explored. Statistical analysis included a paired Wilcoxon signed rank test for SNR and image quality evaluation as well as κ statistics for interobserver agreement.No adverse events were reported. The SNR was higher for the NG-ERC compared with the ERC up to a distance of approximately 40 mm from the surface of the coil at 1.5 T (P < 0.0001 for the apex, the mid-gland, and the base) and approximately 17 mm (P = 0.015 at the apex level) and 30 mm at 3 T (P < 0.0001 for the mid-gland and base). Beyond this distance, the SNR profiles of both coils were comparable. Overall, T2-weighted image quality was considered better for NG-ERC at both field strengths. Quality of apparent diffusion coefficient maps with the use of parallel imaging was rated superior with the NG-ERC at 3 T.The investigational NG-ERC for prostate imaging outperforms the current clinically available ERC in terms of SNR and is feasible for continued development for future use as the next generation endorectal coil for prostate imaging in clinical practice.