Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI tractography) in the prostate: Road-mapping the neurovascular bundle prior to radical prostatectomy.
During prostate cancer surgery nerve damage can often occur, despite attempted nerve-sparing. This can potentially lead to erectile problems and urinary incontinence. At present clinical and MRI findings are used to predict whether this is likely but are not very accurate.
This study will use a relatively new MRI technique, called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), on patients undergoing surgery for prostate cancer and will use it to estimate whether the nerves are close to the prostate cancer and are likely to be damaged during surgery. Professor Andrea Rockall at Imperial College and colleagues will then compare DTI findings with surgical and pathology findings and patient symptoms to determine whether the DTI scan was correct.
If DTI can map the nerves then predicting the likelihood of nerve damage during surgery may be improved. This will help surgeons and patients make a choice about the preferred treatment option.
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