MRI/Ultrasound Fusion for Prostate Biopsy
For patients who experience increasing PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) levels with negative ultrasound-guided biopsies, our radiologists offer a groundbreaking MRI/Ultrasound Fusion exam that significantly improves the accuracy of prostate cancer biopsy.
MRI/Ultrasound-guided fusion biopsy combines a specialized MRI scan with an ultrasound image to help the patient’s urologist precisely target the area of the prostate that needs to be biopsied.
For decades, prostate biopsies were traditionally performed under ultrasound guidance and utilized the random sample method of collecting 12 to 24 samples from the prostate. In contrast, MRI/Ultrasound provides greater precision by accurately targeting the area of the prostate that requires a biopsy.
A series of MRI images are taken of the prostate and its surrounding area. The radiologist reads the images and is able to indicate abnormal areas or suspicious lesions. The images with the precise markings are then transferred electronically to the procedure room, where the patient’s urologist performs the biopsy under transrectal ultrasound guidance. With the MRI-fusion images, the exact area to be sampled is visualized and the needle guided to the specific spot.
The MRI-fusion biopsy can detect hidden tumors that might have been missed with ultrasound biopsy alone and can enhance patient comfort and safety by reducing the number of biopsies required.
Patients who might be candidates for the MRI/Ultrasound-guided fusion biopsy include those who either have had elevated PSA scores, abnormal findings on digital rectal exams, or a history of negative traditional biopsies with a continued concern for cancer.
You will be asked to wear metal-free clothing and remove all metallic objects, such as jewelry, watches, and hearing aids. Using a checklist, a technologist will guide you through MRI imaging safety questions. It’s essential to inform your technologist of prior surgeries or metal implants, such as pacemakers, aneurysm clips, or joint replacements.
For the MRI-guided exam, you will receive intravenous contrast material called gadolinium. Because gadolinium does not contain iodine, it can be used safely in patients with contrast allergies.
To image the prostate, you will be placed on an MRI table. A series of images will be taken of the prostate and its surrounding area. For the best resolution of the images, it’s important for you to lie motionless during the exam.
When you receive IV contrast for the MRI-guided procedure, you may feel coolness and a flushing sensation for a minute or two when the contrast material is injected.
The radiologist will analyze the images and create a 3D image of the prostate, indicating abnormal areas or suspicious lesions by marking these on the images. These images will then be transferred electronically to the procedure room, where the urologist will perform the biopsy.