Accuracy of high b-value diffusion-weighted MRI for prostate cancer detection: a meta-analysis

Keith Godley (Lead Author), Tom Syer, Andoni Toms, Toby Smith, Glyn Johnson, Donnie Cameron, Paul Malcolm

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Background: The diagnostic accuracy of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to detect prostate cancer is well-established. DWI provides visual and also quantitative means of detecting tumor, the Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (ADC). Recently higher b-values have been used to improve DWI’s diagnostic performance. Purpose: To determine the diagnostic performance of high b-value DWI at detecting prostate cancer and whether quantifying ADC improves accuracy. Material and Methods: A comprehensive literature search of published and unpublished databases was performed. Eligible studies had histopathologically proven prostate cancer, DWI sequences using b-values ≥ 1000 s/mm2, > 10 patients, and data for creating a 2x2 table. Study quality was assessed with QUADAS-2 (Quality Assessment of diagnostic Accuracy Studies). Sensitivity and specificity were calculated and tests for statistical heterogeneity and threshold effect performed. Results were plotted on a summary receiver operating characteristic curve (sROC) and the area under the curve (AUC) determined the diagnostic performance of high b-value DWI. Results: Ten studies met eligibility criteria with 13 subsets of data available for analysis, including 522 patients. Pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.59 (95% CI 0.57–0.61) and 0.92 (95% CI 0.91–0.92) respectively and the sROC AUC was 0.92. Subgroup analysis showed a statistically significant (p=0.03) improvement in accuracy when using tumor visual assessment rather than ADC. Conclusion: High b-value DWI gives good diagnostic performance for prostate cancer detection and visual assessment of tumor diffusion is significantly more accurate than ROI measurements of ADC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-113
Number of pages9
JournalActa Radiologica
Issue number1
Early online date4 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Prostate cancer
  • MRI
  • diffusion-weighted imaging
  • DWI
  • high-b-value
  • meta-analysis

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