Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Medical Biophysics

Collaborative Specialization

Molecular Imaging


Scholl, Timothy J


Overtreatment of prostate cancer is a significant problem in the health care of men. Development of non-invasive imaging tools for improved characterization of prostate lesions has the potential to reduce overtreatment. In this thesis work, we will evaluate the ability of tissue sodium concentration obtained from sodium magnetic resonance imaging (sodium-MRI) to characterize in vivo prostate lesions. Imaging data, including multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) and sodium-MRI, were obtained from a cohort of men with biopsy-proven prostate cancer and compared to digitized whole-mount histopathology after prostatectomy. Histopathology was independently graded for Gleason score to be used as the ground truth of tumour aggression. These imaging data were all accurately co-registered, allowing for direct comparison of imaging contrast to Gleason score. The results of this thesis work suggest that tissue sodium concentration assessed by sodium-MRI has utility as a part of a “non-invasive imaging-assay” to accurately characterize prostate cancer lesions. Sodium-MRI can provide clinically useful, complementary information to mpMRI; ultimately leading to better characterization of prostate lesions throughout the whole prostate. This has potential to improve patient outcomes of men with low-risk disease who do opt for active surveillance instead of treatment.