The value of magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasonography (MRI/US)-fusion biopsy platforms in prostate cancer detection: a systematic review

BJU Int. 2016 Mar;117(3):392-400. doi: 10.1111/bju.13247. Epub 2015 Aug 28.


Despite limitations considering the presence, staging and aggressiveness of prostate cancer, ultrasonography (US)-guided systematic biopsies (SBs) are still the 'gold standard' for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Recently, promising results have been published for targeted prostate biopsies (TBs) using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography (MRI/US)-fusion platforms. Different platforms are USA Food and Drug Administration registered and have, mostly subjective, strengths and weaknesses. To our knowledge, no systematic review exists that objectively compares prostate cancer detection rates between the different platforms available. To assess the value of the different MRI/US-fusion platforms in prostate cancer detection, we compared platform-guided TB with SB, and other ways of MRI TB (cognitive fusion or in-bore MR fusion). We performed a systematic review of well-designed prospective randomised and non-randomised trials in the English language published between 1 January 2004 and 17 February 2015, using PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library databases. Search terms included: 'prostate cancer', 'MR/ultrasound(US) fusion' and 'targeted biopsies'. Extraction of articles was performed by two authors (M.G. and A.A.) and were evaluated by the other authors. Randomised and non-randomised prospective clinical trials comparing TB using MRI/US-fusion platforms and SB, or other ways of TB (cognitive fusion or MR in-bore fusion) were included. In all, 11 of 1865 studies met the inclusion criteria, involving seven different fusion platforms and 2626 patients: 1119 biopsy naïve, 1433 with prior negative biopsy, 50 not mentioned (either biopsy naïve or with prior negative biopsy) and 24 on active surveillance (who were disregarded). The Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2) tool was used to assess the quality of included articles. No clear advantage of MRI/US fusion-guided TBs was seen for cancer detection rates (CDRs) of all prostate cancers. However, MRI/US fusion-guided TBs tended to give higher CDRs for clinically significant prostate cancers in our analysis. Important limitations of the present systematic review include: the limited number of included studies, lack of a general definition of 'clinically significant' prostate cancer, the heterogeneous study population, and a reference test with low sensitivity and specificity. Today, a limited number of prospective studies have reported the CDRs of fusion platforms. Although MRI/US-fusion TB has proved its value in men with prior negative biopsies, general use of this technique in diagnosing prostate cancer should only be performed after critical consideration. Before bringing MRI/US fusion-guided TB in to general practice, there is a need for more prospective studies on prostate cancer diagnosis.

Keywords: MRI; biopsy; cancer; fusion; prostate; ultrasound.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Humans
  • Image-Guided Biopsy / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods