MRI/US Fusion Targeted Prostate Biopsy

Traditionally prostate biopsies are performed under ultrasound guidance by randomly sampling all regions of the prostate gland. Whilest some prostate cancers can be seen on ultrasound, usually the ultrasound images are not distinct enough to tell cancerous from normal prostate tissue.

Recently with the advent of MRI scans of the prostate, we are able to obtain high quality images of the inside of the prostate gland. MRI scan may indicate suspicious areas for prostate cancer, but prostate cancer cannot be diagnosed on MRI and a needle biopsy is required to confirm prostate cancer. Unfortunately it is difficult to perform prostate biopsies in the confined space of a MRI machine.

MRI/US fusion technology allows the abnormalities on MRI images to be overlaid on live transrectal ultrasound images during prostate biopsy. This allows accurate targeting of MRI detected suspicious lesions rather than random biopsies of the entire prostate.

Some recent studies have shown that MRI/US fusion targeted prostate biopsies are better than traditional biopsies at finding prostate cancers that are serious and need treatment, and will overlook clinically insignicant prostate cancers that we don’t need to worry about.