Functional CT imaging of prostate cancer
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the distribution of blood flow (F), mean capillary transit time (Tc), capillary permeability (PS) and blood volume (vb) in prostate cancer using contrast-enhanced CT. Nine stage T2-T3 prostate cancer patients were enrolled in the study. Following bolus injection of a contrast agent, a time series of CT images of the prostate was acquired. Functional maps showing the distribution of F, Tc, PS and vb within the prostate were generated using a distributed parameter tracer kinetic model, the adiabatic approximation to the tissue homogeneity model. The precision of the maps was assessed using covariance matrix analysis. Finally, maps were compared to the findings of standard clinical investigations. Eight of the functional maps demonstrated regions of increased F, PS and vb, the locations of which were consistent with the results of standard clinical investigations. However, model parameters other than F could only be measured precisely within regions of high F. In conclusion functional CT images of cancer-containing prostate glands demonstrate regions of elevated F, PS and Vb. However, caution should be used when applying a complex tracer kinetic model to the study of prostate cancer since not all parameters can be measured precisely in all areas.
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