4-D spatiotemporal analysis of ultrasound contrast agent dispersion for prostate cancer localization: a feasibility study


Currently, nonradical treatment for prostate cancer is hampered by the shortage of reliable diagnostics. Contrastultrasound dispersion imaging (CUDI) has recently shown nice potential as a prostate cancer imaging technique. CUDI estimates the native dispersion of intravenously injected contrast agents, imaged by transrectal dynamic contrast-enhanced ultrasound (DCE-US), to detect angiogenic processes connected to tumor growth. The simplest CUDI results have therefore far been obtained by similarity analysis of the contrast kinetics in neighboring pixels. To date, CUDI has been investigated in two-D solely. During this paper, an implementation of 3-D CUDI based mostly on spatiotemporal similarity analysis of 4-D DCE-US is described. Different from 2-D ways, three-D CUDI permits analysis of the entire prostate using a single injection of contrast agent. To perform three-D CUDI, a replacement strategy was designed to estimate the similarity within the contrast kinetics at every voxel, and information processing steps were adjusted to the characteristics of four-D DCE-US images. The technical feasibility of four-D DCE-US in 3-D CUDI was assessed and confirmed. Additionally, in a very preliminary validation in two patients, dispersion maps by three-D CUDI were quantitatively compared with those by a pair of-D CUDI and with 12-core systematic biopsies with promising results.

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