Imaging of prostate cancer has progressed significantly over the last 10 years. Multiparametric MRI is able to detect 85-90% of clinical significant prostate cancers. Prostate MRI requires a centre with high quality imaging and experienced radiologists.
Benefits of prostate MRI
MRI to investigate an elevated PSA level may potentially avoid the need for unnecessary invasive prostate biopsy to exclude prostate cancer. A biopsy is still generally required if the MRI is suggestive of cancer. MRI is a non-invasive imaging technique that does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation. MR images of the soft-tissue structures of the body including the prostate and other pelvic structures are clearer and more detailed than with other imaging methods. This detail makes MRI a valuable tool in early diagnosis and evaluation of the extent of tumours, such as prostate cancer.
Limitations of prostate MRI
10-15% of clinically significant prostate cancers may not be detected with MRI. MRI cannot always distinguish between cancer tissue and inflammation. If MRI is suggestive of prostate cancer a prostate biopsy is still typically required to both confirm the diagnosis and provide a histological grade prior to treatment decisions being made.
What is MRI prostate?
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate uses a powerful magnetic field, radio waves and a computer to produce detailed pictures of the structures within a man’s prostate gland. It is primarily used to evaluate the extent of prostate cancer and determine whether it has spread. It also may be used to help diagnose infection, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or congenital abnormalities. Prostate MRI does not use ionizing radiation, and it provides images that are clearer and more detailed than other imaging methods.