A Comprehensive Analysis of Cribriform Morphology on Magnetic Resonance Imaging/Ultrasound Fusion Biopsy Correlated with Radical Prostatectomy Specimens

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Recently a large body of evidence has emerged indicating that cribriform morphology is an aggressive prostate cancer morphological pattern associated with higher cancer specific mortality. In a comprehensive analysis we compared traditional and contemporary prostate biopsy techniques to detect prostate cancer with cribriform morphology with radical prostatectomy serving as the reference standard.

Materials and Methods

We queried a retrospectively maintained, single institution, multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging database of 1,001 patients to identify 240 who underwent magnetic resonance imaging-ultrasound fusion targeted biopsy and concurrent systematic biopsy from December 2014 to December 2016. Of the 3,978 biopsy cores obtained 694 positive cores were rereviewed by a genitourinary pathologist for pattern 4 subtype (cribriform, fused and poorly formed glands). Using paired analysis pathological results among 3 biopsy methods (systematic biopsy, targeted biopsy and systematic plus targeted biopsy) were compared. Prostatectomy specimens were also pathologically reviewed.


Systematic plus targeted biopsy was superior to systematic biopsy alone or targeted biopsy alone to detect cribriform morphology (all p <0.0001). On final histopathology cribriform tumor foci were associated with an increased percent of pattern 4 involvement and extraprostatic extension (p <0.0001 and 0.003, respectively). Only 17.4% of cribriform tumors in pure form were visible on multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging. Based on final histopathology the sensitivity of systematic biopsy, targeted biopsy and systematic plus targeted biopsy for cribriform morphology was 20.7%, 28.6% and 37.1%, respectively.


Although systematic plus targeted biopsy was the most accurate biopsy method to detect cribriform morphology, biopsy sensitivity and specificity remained poor.

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