MRI micturating urethrography for improved urethral delineation in prostate radiotherapy planning: A case study
Stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy is used in prostate cancer to deliver a high dose of radiation to the tumour over a small number of treatments. This involves the simulation of the patient using both CT and MRI. Current practice is to insert an indwelling catheter (IDC) during CT to assist with visualisation of the urethra and subsequently minimise dose to this highly critical structure. However, this procedure is invasive and has an associated risk of infection. This is a case study, which demonstrates our initial experience of using a real-time non-invasive MRI technique to replace the use of IDC for prostate cancer patients. The patient was scanned on a dedicated 3T MRI and was instructed to micturate in their own time whereupon a sagittal T2 weighted HASTE sequence was acquired every 5 s. This was subsequently followed by T2 weighted axial imaging at the level of mid prostate to provide improved urethral definition. Acquired images showed bladder voidance in real-time and an increase in signal intensity in the proximal urethra post voiding allowing for delineation of the urethra. The dimension and shape of the proximal urethra was well visualised and accumulation time of urine in the urethra was sufficient to enable optimum timing of the scanning technique. We have presented for the first time a micturating urethography technique using MRI, which has allowed us to visualise the urethra without contrast and with minimal invasiveness to the patient.