The Diagnostic Performance of Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Detect Significant Prostate Cancer

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We assess the accuracy of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging for significant prostate cancer detection before diagnostic biopsy in men with an abnormal prostate specific antigen/digital rectal examination.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 388 men underwent multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging, including T2-weighted, diffusion weighted and dynamic contrast enhanced imaging before biopsy. Two radiologists used PI-RADS to allocate a score of 1 to 5 for suspicion of significant prostate cancer (Gleason 7 with more than 5% grade 4). PI-RADS 3 to 5 was considered positive. Transperineal template guided mapping biopsy of 18 regions (median 30 cores) was performed with additional manually directed cores from magnetic resonance imaging positive regions. The anatomical location, size and grade of individual cancer areas in the biopsy regions (18) as the primary outcome and in prostatectomy specimens (117) as the secondary outcome were correlated to the magnetic resonance imaging positive regions.


Of the 388 men who were enrolled in the study 344 were analyzed. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging was positive in 77.0% of patients, 62.5% had prostate cancer and 41.6% had significant prostate cancer. The detection of significant prostate cancer by multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging had a sensitivity of 96%, specificity of 36%, negative predictive value of 92% and positive predictive value of 52%. Adding PI-RADS to the multivariate model, including prostate specific antigen, digital rectal examination, prostate volume and age, improved the AUC from 0.776 to 0.879 (p <0.001). Anatomical concordance analysis showed a low mismatch between the magnetic resonance imaging positive regions and biopsy positive regions (4 [2.9%]), and the significant prostate cancer area in the radical prostatectomy specimen (3 [3.3%]).


In men with an abnormal prostate specific antigen/digital rectal examination, multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging detected significant prostate cancer with an excellent negative predictive value and moderate positive predictive value. The use of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging to diagnose significant prostate cancer may result in a substantial number of unnecessary biopsies while missing a minimum of significant prostate cancers.

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