The diagnostic accuracy of high b-value diffusion- and T2-weighted imaging for the detection of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis

Tom Syer, Keith Godley, Donnie Cameron, Paul Malcolm

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Purpose: This study aims to investigate the role of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) and T2-weighted imaging (T2WI) in combination for the detection of prostate cancer, specifically assessing the role of high b-values (> 1000 s/mm2), with a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing published data. 
Methods: The electronic databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, and OpenSIGLE were searched between inception and September 1, 2017. Eligible studies were those that reported the sensitivity and specificity of DWI and T2WI for the diagnosis of prostate cancer by visual assessment using a histopathologic reference standard. The QUADAS-2 critical appraisal tool was used to assess the quality of included studies. A meta-analysis with pooling of sensitivity, specificity, likelihood, and diagnostic odds ratios was undertaken, and a summary receiver-operating characteristics (sROC) curve was constructed. Predetermined subgroup analysis was also performed. 
Results: Thirty-three studies were included in the final analysis, evaluating 2949 patients. The pooled sensitivity and specificity were 0.69 (95% CI 0.68–0.69) and 0.84 (95% CI 0.83–0.85), respectively, and the sROC AUC was 0.84 (95% CI 0.81–0.87). Subgroup analysis showed significantly better sensitivity with high b-values (> 1000 s/mm2). There was high statistical heterogeneity between studies. 
Conclusion: The diagnostic accuracy of combined DWI and T2WI is good with high b-values (> 1000 s/mm2) seeming to improve overall sensitivity while maintaining specificity. However, further large-scale studies specifically looking at b-value choice are required before a categorical recommendation can be made.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1787–1797
JournalAbdominal Radiology
Issue number7
Early online date24 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Prostate cancer
  • Diffusion-weighted imaging
  • T2-weighted imaging
  • b-value
  • Meta- analysis

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