The Impact of Arterial Input Function Determination Variations on Prostate Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging Pharmacokinetic Modeling: A Multicenter Data Analysis Challenge, Part II

Date Published:

2019 Mar


This multicenter study evaluated the effect of variations in arterial input function (AIF) determination on pharmacokinetic (PK) analysis of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) data using the shutter-speed model (SSM). Data acquired from eleven prostate cancer patients were shared among nine centers. Each center used a site-specific method to measure the individual AIF from each data set and submitted the results to the managing center. These AIFs, their reference tissue-adjusted variants, and a literature population-averaged AIF, were used by the managing center to perform SSM PK analysis to estimate K (volume transfer rate constant), v (extravascular, extracellular volume fraction), k (efflux rate constant), and τ (mean intracellular water lifetime). All other variables, including the definition of the tumor region of interest and precontrast T values, were kept the same to evaluate parameter variations caused by variations in only the AIF. Considerable PK parameter variations were observed with within-subject coefficient of variation (wCV) values of 0.58, 0.27, 0.42, and 0.24 for K, v, k, and τ, respectively, using the unadjusted AIFs. Use of the reference tissue-adjusted AIFs reduced variations in K and v (wCV = 0.50 and 0.10, respectively), but had smaller effects on k and τ (wCV = 0.39 and 0.22, respectively). k is less sensitive to AIF variation than K, suggesting it may be a more robust imaging biomarker of prostate microvasculature. With low sensitivity to AIF uncertainty, the SSM-unique τ parameter may have advantages over the conventional PK parameters in a longitudinal study.