Intravoxel incoherent motion (IVIM) is a promising technique that can acquire perfusion information without the use of contrast agent, contrary to the more established dynamic contrast-enhanced (DCE) technique. This is of interest for treatment response monitoring, where patients can be imaged on each treatment fraction. In this study, longitudinal correlations between IVIM- and DCE parameters were assessed in prostate cancer patients receiving radiation treatment.
The increase in IVIM- and DCE parameters when averaging over patients indicates a measurable response to radiation treatment with both techniques. Although low, significant longitudinal correlations were found which suggests that IVIM could potentially be used as an alternative to DCE for treatment response monitoring.
20 prostate cancer patients were treated on a 1.5 T MR-linac with 20 x 3 or 3.1 Gy. Weekly IVIM and DCE scans were acquired. Tumors, the peripheral zone (PZ), and the transition zone (TZ) were delineated on a T2-weighted scan acquired on the first fraction. IVIM and DCE scans were registered to this scan and the delineations were propagated. Median values from these delineations were used for further analysis. The IVIM parameters D, f, D* and the product fD* were calculated. The Tofts model was used to calculate the DCE parameters Ktrans, kep and ve. Pearson correlations were calculated for the IVIM and DCE parameters on values from the first fraction for each region of interest (ROI). For longitudinal analysis, the repeated measures correlation coefficient was used to determine correlations between IVIM and DCE parameters in each ROI.
When averaging over patients, an increase during treatment in all IVIM and DCE parameters was observed in all ROIs, except for D in the PZ and TZ. No significant Pearson correlations were found between any pair of IVIM and DCE parameters measured on the first fraction. Significant but low longitudinal correlations were found for some combinations of IVIM and DCE parameters in the PZ and TZ, while no significant longitudinal correlations were found in the tumor. Notably in the TZ, for both f and fD*, significant longitudinal correlations with all DCE parameters were found.