Multiparametric 3D in vivo ultrasound vibroelastography imaging of prostate cancer: Preliminary results




Ultrasound-based solutions for diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer are highly desirable. The authors have devised a method for detecting prostate cancer using a vibroelastography (VE) system developed in our group and a tissue classification approach based on texture analysis of VE images.


The VE method applies wide-band mechanical vibrations to the tissue. Here, the authors report on the use of this system for cancer detection and show that the texture of VE images characterized by the first and the second order statistics of the pixel intensities form a promising set of features for tissue typing to detect prostate cancer. The system was used to image patients prior to radical surgery. The removed specimens were sectioned and studied by an experienced histopathologist. The authors registered the whole-mount histology sections to the ultrasound images using an automatic registration algorithm. This enabled the quantitative evaluation of the performance of the authors’ imaging method in cancer detection in an unbiased manner. The authors used support vector machine (SVM) classification to measure the cancer detection performance of the VE method. Regions of tissue of size 5 × 5 mm, labeled as cancer and noncancer based on automatic registration to histology slides, were classified using SVM.


The authors report an area under ROC of 0.81 ± 0.10 in cancer detection on 1066 tissue regions from 203 images. All cancer tumors in all zones were included in this analysis and were classified versus the noncancer tissue in the peripheral zone. This outcome was obtained in leave-one-patient-out validation.


The developed 3D prostate vibroelastography system and the proposed multiparametric approach based on statistical texture parameters from the VE images result in a promising cancer detection method.