Optimal approach for prostate cancer detection as initial biopsy: prospective randomized study comparing transperineal versus transrectal systematic 12-core biopsy

Urology. 2008 Feb;71(2):191-5. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.09.029.


Objectives: Transperineal and transrectal prostate biopsy are both used for prostate cancer detection. However, which approach is superior remains unknown. In this study, we performed a prospective randomized study to compare the efficacy of transperineal versus transrectal 12-core initial prostate biopsy.

Methods: From May 2003 to October 2005, a prospective randomized study of transperineal versus transrectal 12-core biopsy (126 and 120 patients, respectively) was conducted in 246 patients with a prostate-specific antigen level of 4.0 to 20.0 ng/mL. All procedures were performed with the patient in the lithotomy position, with the transperineal and transrectal approach performed with spinal anesthesia (0.5% bupivacaine) or a caudal block (1% lidocaine), respectively. With both approaches, eight biopsy specimens were obtained systematically from the peripheral zone, including the apex, and four from the transition zone.

Results: The cancer detection rate was 42.1% (53 of 126 patients) with the transperineal approach and 48.3% (58 of 120 patients) with the transrectal approach (P = 0.323). For all patients undergoing transperineal and transrectal biopsy, the cancer core rate (cancer core number/biopsy core number) was 13.7% (207 of 1512 cores) and 14.4% (208 of 1440 cores), respectively (P = 0.566). Apart from headache, presumably related to the spinal anesthesia, no significant differences were found in the complications between the two groups.

Conclusions: No significant differences were found in the cancer detection rate, cancer core rate, or complications between the two approaches. We believe that the preferred approach as an initial prostate biopsy is the transrectal approach, which does not require spinal anesthesia or another burdensome process.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Perineum
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Rectum