3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy – Highly Targeted Diagnostics for Prostate Cancer
Arizona Urology Specialists offers patients the safest and most accurate biopsy process available to fully diagnose prostate cancer. While previously, two imaging modalities — Ultrasound and MRI — were used individually, MRI Ultrasound Fusion Guided Biopsies fuses or blends these technologies to create a detailed, 360° prostate map. This is done by merging previously captured MRI images with live Transrectal Ultrasound or TRUS images while the ultrasound wand is inserted into the rectum.
Only a very small number of U.S. urologists have the necessary knowledge, equipment, and software to practice fusion imaging.
How 3D Ultrasound MRI Fusion Biopsy Works
One of Arizona Urology Specialists’ specially trained urologists evaluates the patient’s prostate MRI and identifies the area of the suspected tumor. Using special software, the urologist will then input the prostate outline into the computer to facilitate matching MRI and TRUS shapes. This software can recognize both types of images, tag each type, and register the images and creates an overlay of both the Ultrasound and MRI creating a 3D image of the patient’s prostate. With the suspected tumor highlighted, the image can be manipulated on the computer screen allowing the urologist to view it from every angle.
Prostate Ultrasound/MRI Fusion imaging is performed in your urologist’s office to help identify the target area for the biopsy and guide needles into it. By combining advanced MRI imaging with 3D ultrasound technology, this biopsy system:
- Creates a 3D map of the prostate.
- Identifies suspicious lesions or targets on MRI.
- A specially trained urologist overlays 3D MRI and 3D ultrasound images in order to get a precise picture and location of suspicious areas of the prostate (also known as “targets”).
- Accurately guides the biopsy needle into the target lesion. Uniform random biopsies of other areas of the prostate may also be performed, depending upon the clinical circumstances.
- The computer creates a record of the exact location of each biopsy, which is then stored and available for future use.
Studies show that computer-assisted 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy provides a more precise way to identify clinically significant prostate cancers. This allows patients access to unique technology that will significantly improve their clinical outcomes.
How Accurate is It?
3D Ultrasound MRI Fusion Guided Biopsies are a helpful tool within the field of urology. They are generally more accurate than traditional TRUS biopsies (ultrasound only) in detecting and diagnosing prostate cancer. MRI imaging performed live, in real-time, continues to be the standard for prostate cancer diagnostics.
Who is a Candidate?
As with all diagnostic and treatment options, your Arizona Urology Specialists physician can help determine the preferred prostate biopsy guidance system tailored to your individual case. Several groups of patients can take advantage of this diagnostic tool including:
- Men who have a current diagnosis of prostate cancer and have chosen Active Surveillance or watchful waiting (which typically requires periodic biopsies)
- Men who have a persistently rising PSA level despite having a previous 2D (2 Dimensional) Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS)-guided biopsy and prostate needle biopsy which was negative for cancer
- Men who are found on traditional 2D TRUS-guided biopsy to have cells that are abnormal but cannot be confirmed as cancer
- Men with a newly identified elevated PSA
- Men previously treated for prostate cancer with radiation therapy or cryosurgery who have a rising PSA that suggests a possible recurrence of cancer in the prostate gland.
Talk to your doctor about the 3D Ultrasound/MRI Fusion Biopsy to see if you are a candidate for this advanced diagnostic procedure for prostate cancer.