Multiparametric MRI and targeted prostate biopsy: Improvements in cancer detection, localization, and risk assessment

Marc A. Bjurlin, Neil Mendhiratta, James S. Wysock, Samir S. Taneja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction Multiparametric-MRI (mp-MRI) is an evolving noninvasive imaging modality that increases the accurate localization of prostate cancer at the time of MRI targeted biopsy, thereby enhancing clinical risk assessment, and improving the ability to appropriately counsel patients regarding therapy. Material and methods We used MEDLINE/PubMed to conduct a comprehensive search of the English medical literature. Articles were reviewed, data was extracted, analyzed, and summarized. In this review, we discuss the mp-MRI prostate exam, its role in targeted prostate biopsy, along with clinical applications and outcomes of MRI targeted biopsies. Results Mp-MRI, consisting of T2-weighted imaging, diffusion-weighted imaging, dynamic contrast-enhan-ced imaging, and possibly MR spectroscopy, has demonstrated improved specificity in prostate cancer detection as compared to conventional T2-weighted images alone. An MRI suspicion score has been devel­oped and is depicted using an institutional Likert or, more recently, a standardized reporting scale (PI-RADS). Techniques of MRI-targeted biopsy include in-gantry MRI guided biopsy, TRUS-guided visual estimation biopsy, and software co-registered MRI-US guided biopsy (MRI-US fusion). Among men with no previous biopsy, MRI-US fusion biopsy demonstrates up to a 20% increase in detection of clinically significant cancers compared to systematic biopsy while avoiding a significant portion of low risk disease. These data suggest a potential role in reducing over-detection and, ultimately, over-treatment. Among men with previous nega­tive biopsy, 72–87% of cancers detected by MRI targeted biopsy are clinically significant. Among men with known low risk cancer, repeat biopsy by MR-targeting improves risk stratification in selecting men appropri­ate for active surveillance secondarily reducing the need for repetitive biopsy during surveillance. Conclusions Use of mp-MRI for targeting prostate biopsies has the potential to reduce the sampling error associated with conventional biopsy by providing better disease localization and sampling. MRI-ultrasound fusion-targeted prostate biopsy may improve the identification of clinically significant prostate cancer while limiting detection of indolent disease, ultimately facilitating more accurate risk stratification. Literature sup­ports the clinical applications of MRI-targeted biopsy in men who have never been biopsied before, those with a prior negative biopsy, and those with low risk disease considering active surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-18
Number of pages10
JournalCentral European Journal of Urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Image-guided
  • MRI-targeted
  • MRI-ultrasound fusion
  • Multiparametric-MRI
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Targeted biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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