Magnetic resonance imaging-targeted biopsy may enhance the diagnostic accuracy of significant prostate cancer detection compared to standard transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eur Urol. 2015 Sep;68(3):438-50. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2014.11.037. Epub 2014 Dec 3.


Context: Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the prostate may improve the diagnostic accuracy of prostate cancer detection in MRI-targeted biopsy (MRI-TBx) in comparison to transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy (TRUS-Bx).

Objective: Systematic review and meta-analysis of evidence regarding the diagnostic benefits of MRI-TBx versus TRUS-Bx in detection of overall prostate cancer (primary objective) and significant/insignificant prostate cancer (secondary objective).

Evidence acquisition: A systematic review of Embase, Medline, Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed, Cinahl, and the Cochrane library was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement. Identified reports were critically appraised according to the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies criteria. Only men with a positive MRI were included.

Evidence synthesis: The reports we included (16 studies) used both MRI-TBx and TRUS-Bx for prostate cancer detection. A cumulative total of 1926 men with positive MRI were included, with prostate cancer prevalence of 59%. MRI-TBx and TRUS-Bx did not significantly differ in overall prostate cancer detection (sensitivity 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.80-0.89, and 0.81, 95% CI 0.70-0.88, respectively). MRI-TBx had a higher rate of detection of significant prostate cancer compared to TRUS-Bx (sensitivity 0.91, 95% CI 0.87-0.94 vs 0.76, 95% CI 0.64-0.84) and a lower rate of detection of insignificant prostate cancer (sensitivity 0.44, 95% CI 0.26-0.64 vs 0.83, 95% confidence interval 0.77-0.87). Subgroup analysis revealed an improvement in significant prostate cancer detection by MRI-TBx in men with previous negative biopsy, rather than in men with initial biopsy (relative sensitivity 1.54, 95% CI 1.05-2.57 vs 1.10, 95% CI 1.00-1.22). Because of underlying methodological flaws of MRI-TBx, the comparison of MRI-TBx and TRUS-Bx needs to be regarded with caution.

Conclusions: In men with clinical suspicion of prostate cancer and a subsequent positive MRI, MRI-TBx and TRUS-Bx did not differ in overall prostate cancer detection. However, MRI-TBx had a higher rate of detection of significant prostate cancer and a lower rate of detection of insignificant prostate cancer compared with TRUS-Bx.

Patient summary: We reviewed recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for guidance and targeting of prostate biopsy for prostate cancer detection. We found evidence to suggest that MRI-guided targeted biopsy benefits the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Keywords: Biopsy; Diagnostic test accuracy; Magnetic resonance imaging; Magnetic resonance imaging–guided targeted biopsy; Meta-analysis; Prostate cancer; Systematic review; Transrectal ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle
  • Endosonography
  • Humans
  • Image-Guided Biopsy / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Prostate / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*