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MR-PET Imaging of the Prostate

10th June 2020

Chang-Hoon Choi, Tim Felder, Jörg Felder, Lutz Tellmann, Suk-Min Hong, Hans-Peter Wegener, Nadim Jon Shah and Karl Ziemons

Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers among men and its early detection is critical for its successful treatment. Used alone, MRI of the prostate using a standard system is not a reliable way of identifying tumours. However, by combining MR and PET imaging techniques, it is possible to obtain detailed information relating to prostate health.

As the human prostate is flexible and can move into different positions under external conditions, it is important to localise the focused region-of-interest using MRI and PET simultaneously so that each modality obtains imaging information under identical circumstances. Furthermore, as the prostate is located in a deeper region of the body, the acquisition of high-quality MR images using a local coil is difficult. Consequently, an endorectal MRI RF coil is required as the closer proximity to the prostate affords increased signal-to-noise ratio and better spatial resolution.

In addition to the challenges presented in terms of actually imaging the prostate, further complications have to be overcome with regards to ensuring compatibility between the MRI and PET equipment.

In this work, five commonly used linear and quadrature surface coils suitable for hybrid MR-PET were designed for use in endorectal applications.

From the designs tested, it was found that the coils with overlapped loops driven in quadrature were superior to the other types of coils. In order to determine the effect of the different coil designs on PET, transmission scans were carried out, and it was observed that the differences between attenuation maps with and without the coil elements within the PET field-of-view were negligible.

It is anticipated that the findings of this work will provide useful guidance for the integration of such coil designs into MR-PET hybrid systems in the future.

Original publication:

Design, evaluation and comparison of endorectal coils for hybrid MR-PET imaging of the prostate