Optimization of prostate biopsy: The role of magnetic resonance imaging targeted biopsy in detection, localization and risk assessment

Marc A. Bjurlin, Xiaosong Meng, Julien Le Nobin, James S. Wysock, Herbert Lepor, Andrew B. Rosenkrantz, Samir S. Taneja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose Optimization of prostate biopsy requires addressing the shortcomings of standard systematic transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy, including false-negative rates, incorrect risk stratification, detection of clinically insignificant disease and the need for repeat biopsy. Magnetic resonance imaging is an evolving noninvasive imaging modality that increases the accurate localization of prostate cancer at the time of biopsy, and thereby enhances clinical risk assessment and improves the ability to appropriately counsel patients regarding therapy. In this review we 1) summarize the various sequences that comprise a prostate multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging examination along with its performance characteristics in cancer detection, localization and reporting standards; 2) evaluate potential applications of magnetic resonance imaging targeting in prostate biopsy among men with no previous biopsy, a negative previous biopsy and those with low stage cancer; and 3) describe the techniques of magnetic resonance imaging targeted biopsy and comparative study outcomes. Materials and Methods A bibliographic search covering the period up to October 2013 was conducted using MEDLINE®/ PubMed®. Articles were reviewed and categorized based on which of the 3 objectives of this review was addressed. Data were extracted, analyzed and summarized. Results Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging consists of anatomical T2-weighted imaging coupled with at least 2 functional imaging techniques. It has demonstrated improved prostate cancer detection sensitivity up to 80% in the peripheral zone and 81% in the transition zone. A prostate cancer magnetic resonance imaging suspicion score has been developed, and is depicted using the Likert or PI-RADS (Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System) scale for better standardization of magnetic resonance imaging interpretation and reporting. Among men with no previous biopsy, magnetic resonance imaging increases the frequency of significant cancer detection to 50% in low risk and 71% in high risk patients. In low risk men the negative predictive value of a combination of negative magnetic resonance imaging with prostate volume parameters is nearly 98%, suggesting a potential role in avoiding biopsy and reducing over detection/overtreatment. Among men with a previous negative biopsy 72% to 87% of cancers detected by magnetic resonance imaging guidance are clinically significant. Among men with a known low risk cancer, repeat biopsy using magnetic resonance targeting demonstrates a high likelihood of confirming low risk disease in low suspicion score lesions and of upgrading in high suspicion score lesions. Techniques of magnetic resonance imaging targeted biopsy include visual estimation transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy; software co-registered magnetic resonance imaging-ultrasound, transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy; and in-bore magnetic resonance imaging guided biopsy. Although the improvement in accuracy and efficiency of visual estimation biopsy compared to systematic appears limited, co-registered magnetic resonance imaging-ultrasound biopsy as well as in-bore magnetic resonance imaging guided biopsy appear to increase cancer detection rates in conjunction with increasing suspicion score. Conclusions Use of magnetic resonance imaging for targeting prostate biopsies has the potential to reduce the sampling error associated with conventional biopsy by providing better disease localization and sampling. More accurate risk stratification through improved cancer sampling may impact therapeutic decision making. Optimal clinical application of magnetic resonance imaging targeted biopsy remains under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-658
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • image-guided biopsy
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • prostate
  • prostatic neoplasms
  • risk assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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