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The multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) is a fairly new technology used to image the prostate.
Urologists have been using ultrasound for years to do this, but prostate cancer can be difficult to visualize with ultrasound alone.
In the past 10 years, however, MRI technology has improved significantly. We are now able to use mpMRI to find abnormalities in the prostate with far greater detail and localization than we could with ultrasound alone.
Dr. Rich Bevan-Thomas recommends a T3 multiparametric MRI to take images of your prostate. Currently, he recommends Gateway Imaging in Arlington, Texas. The 3T mpMRI uses a 3 Tesla (3T) magnet to take multiple images. Each image type uses a different parameter to show a specific view of your prostate.
To put it simply, these are the four parameters:
The radiologist will then interpret these images and assign the abnormal area a PI-RADS score. Dr. Rich Bevan-Thomas will also review these images and score the areas accordingly.
Yes! The mpMRI and PI-RADS score will give Dr. Rich Bevan-Thomas detailed information that will help determine whether you need a prostate biopsy and if there is an area to target for the fusion biopsy. Before mpMRI technology, if a doctor suspected cancer, patients would go straight to an ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy. With the mpMRI, if your PI-RADS score is low — meaning low risk for intermediate or high-grade cancer — you may not need a biopsy.
A multiparametric prostate MRI is accurate for finding intermediate and high-grade cancers around 85% of the time. A negative MRI does not always mean that a biopsy is not recommended, but it is extremely helpful in finding lesions to target. There is roughly a 15% chance of having a focus of cancer not seen on the MRI, so other parameters are often used in terms of recommending a course of action. Ultrasound continues to have a role in diagnosing many prostate cancers.
But if your PI-RADS score is higher, you may need a fusion biopsy. In this case, the multiparametric MRI results will give Dr. B-T an exact location to target. By fusing the ultrasound image with the MRI image, a specific area can be targeted with a needle biopsy.