Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Penile Cancer: A Pictorial Review

Cancers (Basel). 2023 Nov 8;15(22):5324. doi: 10.3390/cancers15225324.


The role of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) in assessing penile cancer is not well defined. However, this modality may be successfully applied for preoperative staging and patient selection; postoperative local and regional surveillance; and assessments of treatment response after oncological therapies. Previous studies have been mostly limited to a few small series evaluating the accuracy of MRI for the preoperative staging of penile cancer. This review discusses the principles of non-erectile mpMRI, including functional techniques and their applications in evaluating the male genital region, along with clinical protocols and technical considerations. The latest clinical classifications and guidelines are reviewed, focusing on imaging recommendations and discussing potential gaps and disadvantages. The development of functional MRI techniques and the extraction of quantitative parameters from these sequences enables the noninvasive assessment of phenotypic and genotypic tumor characteristics. The applications of advanced techniques in penile MRI are yet to be defined. There is a need for prospective trials and feasible multicenter trials due to the rarity of the disease, highlighting the importance of minimum technical requirements for MRI protocols, particularly image resolution, and finally determining the role of mpMRI in the assessment of penile cancer.

Keywords: MRI; diffusion-weighted imaging; dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI; guidelines; multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging; penile cancer; staging.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.