The importance of Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) in prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis have been widely handled in literature. In the last decade, due to the mono-exponential model limitations, several studies investigated non-Gaussian DWI models and their utility in PCa diagnosis. Since their results were often inconsistent and conflicting, we performed a systematic review of studies from 2012 examining the most commonly used Non-Gaussian DWI models for PCa detection and characterization. A meta-analysis was conducted to assess the ability of each Non-Gaussian model to detect PCa lesions and distinguish between low and intermediate/high grade lesions. Weighted mean differences and 95% confidence intervals were calculated and the heterogeneity was estimated using the I2 statistic. 29 studies were selected for the systematic review, whose results showed inconsistence and an unclear idea about the actual usefulness and the added value of the Non-Gaussian model parameters. 12 studies were considered in the meta-analyses, which showed statistical significance for several non-Gaussian parameters for PCa detection, and to a lesser extent for PCa characterization. Our findings showed that Non-Gaussian model parameters may potentially play a role in the detection and characterization of PCa but further studies are required to identify a standardized DWI acquisition protocol for PCa diagnosis.
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