PURPOSE: To compare image quality (IQ) and patient discomfort during prostate MRI using a pelvic phased array (PPA) coil and an endorectal (ER) coil.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ninety-eight patients (median age, 65.7; range 42.1-78.1) underwent prostate MRI on a 3T scanner including T2w and DWI acquired with PPA and an ER coil within the same exam. Acquisition time was kept similar for both acquisitions. Two radiologists evaluated aspects of IQ on a 5-point Likert scale and classified image artifacts. All patients completed a questionnaire on discomfort/pain regarding the ER coil using a visual analogue scale from 1 to 10.
RESULTS: There was no significant difference in overall IQ for T2w images for both readers (reader 1, 3.27 ± 0.91 and 3.07 ± 0.84, p = 0.057; reader 2, 3.70 ± 0.75 and 3.77 ± 0.81, p = 0.555) for PPA and ER coils, respectively. Overall IQ for DWI acquired with PPA and ER coils was rated similar by reader 1 (3.03 ± 1.10 and 3.08 ± 0.80, respectively, (p = 0.67)), while reader 2 preferred ER coil images (3.27 ± 0.81 and 3.66 ± 0.85 (p < 0.05)). Susceptibility artifacts were more frequent in ER than in PPA coil images (109 vs. 75). Discomfort and pain experienced during insertion of the ER coil was low altogether (VAS score, 3.5 ± 2.1 for "discomfort" and 2.4 ± 2.4 for "pain").
CONCLUSION: T2-weighted images may be acquired with comparable IQ using a PPA coil as compared to an ER coil, while DWI images showed better IQ using the ER coil for one of two readers. The insertion of the ER coil caused low to moderate discomfort and pain in patients.