Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Prostate cancer that is detected early, when it’s still confined to the prostate, has a better chance of successful treatment. That’s where a multiparametric prostate MRI comes in.
Multiparametric prostate MRI (mpMRI) greatly improves the accuracy of the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. Compared with alternative tests that can be intrusive and painful, mpMRI is a standard MRI that usually does not require placement of an endorectal coil. mpMRI also improves accuracy of tumor detection and reduces the number of biopsies needed.
We use three different types of imaging to investigate the tissue. The first assesses the water content of the tissue, the second assesses the cell density of the tissue, and the third assesses the vascularity of the tissue. By integrating these three components, we are able to identify if there is a tumor and define its location.
What are the indications for mpMRI?
- Elevated or rising PSA with negative biopsy
- Elevated PSA prior to biopsy
- Tumor staging
- Detection of recurrent disease
How will I know if I need an mpMRI?
- My PSA is elevated and my doctor wants to see what is there prior to biopsy
- My doctor felt a nodule
- Prior biopsies were negative but my PSA continues to rise
- Prior biopsies found cancer and my urologist wants to stage it
- I was previously treated for prostate cancer but my PSA level is rising
If a tumor is detected at mpMRI, patients will may then undergo Ultrasound-MRI fusion-guided prostate biopsy. This method fuses MRI images with ultrasound images, allowing the suspect tumor that was identified during mpMRI to be overlayed upon the ultrasound images in real-time. Using this method, the urologist can then directly target the biopsy to that area.
Shields has been a long-time leader in prostate MRIs beginning in 1992, and has been an early adopter with extensive mpMRI experience since 2011. We work closely with urologists and radiation oncologists by interpreting mpMRI, identifying suspicious lesions, staging disease, and performing biopsy planning and lesion segmentation, thereby greatly enhancing diagnostic and treatment planning.
Shields also provides advanced PET-CT imaging using Axumin to further refine diagnosis in difficult cases.
Regular screenings and early detection are the keys to beating prostate cancer.
Shield’s experience in mpMRI has greatly enhanced our ability to improve diagnosis and treatment and give affected men a better chance at long-term survival.