MRI of the Prostate

Prostate Examination Performed by a Radiologist

Prostate_MRI
MRI: healthy prostate (left) and cancerous growth (right)

(Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Prostate)

Up until a few years ago, urologists and radiologists seldom teamed up to help patients with suspected prostate disorders. The reason for this was that the imaging equipment used by radiologists back then did not provide a suitable means of examining the prostate. Thanks to advances in imaging technology, this has now changed. Using an MRI device of the latest generation and an optimized pulse sequence procedure, the radiologists at the ALTA Klinik can detect the smallest of tissue changes in the prostate gland. Given this degree of precision, patients are advised to undergo a biopsy only if the MRI procedure provides a basis for suspecting prostate cancer.

Thanks to our training and many years of clinical experience, we have acquired extensive know-how in the area of prostate diagnostics. Our approach is based on a specialist team concept. As a specialist, we provide a diagnosis. If any further treatment is necessary, we refer our patients to a specialist at one of the many medical centers we work with throughout Germany. If the patient is already in the care of a urologist, we confer with that urologist about the best way to proceed.

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Prostate and PSA Level

Many male patients are surprised to learn that a single laboratory parameter (the PSA level) can justify a more thorough examination of the prostate.

prostate_scheme
Anatomy of prostate

An elevated PSA score often represents the first occasion men have to consider their own prostate gland. This is because the prostate is seldom a source of pain or discomfort. More than 90% of our patients who have been diagnosed with an abnormal PSA level feel healthy and have no symptoms whatsoever.

It is often difficult for patients to understand that it can be important to identify the cause of a change in the prostate, even though the change has not led to any real symptoms. However, in most cases, a change in a patient’s PSA level will have a specific, identifiable cause. MRI of the prostate allows you and your doctor to determine whether the cause is a largely benign condition or prostate cancer.

While nearly all males above the age of 50 have what is referred to as age-related prostate enlargement, prostate enlargement alone will seldom lead to abnormal PSA levels. Many doctors recommend that their patients with elevated levels undergo regular PSA testing (e.g. every 3 months), but regular testing does not tell us what the cause of the elevation is. In fact, this wait-and-see approach may prevent the early detection of a worsening condition. This is why it is important to determine what the cause is in a timely manner.

It is essential to find the cause of an elevated PSA level before performing a prostate biopsy!

(-> More information about PSA Level)

MRI of the Prostate

MRT

MRI device

MRI enables the radiologist to examine the finest layers of prostate tissue. This degree of precision provides a basis for determining the cause of elevated, steadily rising or fluctuating PSA levels. Is the cause acute or chronic inflammation (prostatitis), prostate cancer or some other factor?

We can diagnose whether a patient’s prostate is healthy or whether tissue changes – such as prostate cancer – are present.

If there is a suspicious area of tissue in the prostate, an MRI examination will allow your doctor to precisely demarcate the suspicious tissue from the healthy tissue around it. This is because healthy tissue has a different appearance in the images generated by MRI than that of diseased or suspicious tissue. However, while MRI may reveal a suspicious area of tissue in the prostate, a final determination of the tissue’s status (benign or malignant) can only be made by examining the tissue directly. This means that a sample of the tissue will have to be removed exactly from the area in question in a procedure referred to as prostate biopsy.

MRI-guided Prostate Biopsy

We do not use a template-based technique when carrying out prostate biopsies. Instead, we use an MRI-guided prostate biopsy procedure that allows us to go directly to the area of suspicious tissue in question. Moreover, the access route for our precision biopsies passes through the perineum and not through the wall of the rectum. This makes the use of a rectal probe and the prophylactic administration of antibiotics unnecessary.

The fact that MRI machines make use of a magnetic field means that patients are not allowed to wear any metal objects. Patients with pacemakers will not be allowed to undergo the procedure. We do not use the rectum as an access route when performing MRI examinations and MRI-guided prostate biopsies. Patients are therefore spared the associated discomfort.

(-> More information about prostate biopsy)

A prostate biopsy is not always necessary.

If the examination of the prostate reveals no diseased or suspicious areas of tissue, then there is no need to perform a biopsy (e.g. as in the case of chronic prostatitis).

Partnerklinik der Charite
Pathologie Partner

Locations

Bielefeld
Alfred-Bozi-Str. 3
33602 Bielefeld
Tel: +49 521 260 555 44
Fax: +49 521 260 555 14
info@alta-klinik.de

Berlin-Mitte
Reinhardtstr. 23-27
10117 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 814 501 8118
Fax: +49 30 814 501 8119
berlin@alta-klinik.de

Mo-Do. 8 - 19 Uhr
Fr. 8 - 14 Uhr

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ALTA Klinik
Neuenkirchener Straße 97
33332 Gütersloh
Germany

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