Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI), which combines traditional anatomic and newer quantitative MRI methods, has been shown to result in improved voxel-wise classification of prostate cancer as compared with any single MRI parameter. While these results are promising, substantial heterogeneity in the mpMRI parameter values and voxel-wise prostate cancer risk has been observed both between and within regions of the prostate. This suggests that classification of prostate cancer can potentially be improved by incorporating structural information into the classifier. In this paper, we propose a novel voxel-wise classifier of prostate cancer that accounts for the anatomic structure of the prostate by Bayesian hierarchical modeling, which can be combined with post hoc spatial Gaussian kernel smoothing to account for residual spatial correlation. Our proposed classifier results in significantly improved area under the ROC curve (0.822 vs 0.729, P <.001) and sensitivity corresponding to 90% specificity (0.599 vs 0.429, P <.001), compared with a baseline model that does not account for the anatomic structure of the prostate. Furthermore, the classifier can also be applied on voxels with missing mpMRI parameters, resulting in similar performance, which is an important practical consideration that cannot be easily accommodated using regression-based classifiers. In addition, our classifier achieved high computational efficiency with a closed-form solution for the posterior predictive cancer probability.
- Bayesian classifier
- multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging
- prostate cancer
- spatial classifier
- voxel-wise classification