Prostate Cancer: The Role of Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging

João Lopes Dias, João Magalhães Pina, Raquel João, Joana Fialho, Sandra Carmo, Cecília Leal, Tiago Bilhim, Rui Mateus Marques, Luís Campos Pinheiro


Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging has been increasingly used for detection, localization and staging of prostate cancer over the last years. It combines high-resolution T2 Weighted-Imaging and at least two functional techniques, which include Dynamic Contrast–Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Diffusion-Weighted Imaging, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Spectroscopy. Although the combined use of a pelvic phased-array and an Endorectal Coil is considered the state-of-the-art for Magnetic Resonance Imaging evaluation of prostate cancer, Endorectal Coil is only absolute mandatory for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Spectroscopy at 1.5 T. Sensitivity and specificity levels in cancer detection and localization have been improving with functional technique implementation, compared to T2 Weighted-Imaging alone. It has been particularly useful to evaluate patients with abnormal PSA and negative biopsy. Moreover, the information added by the functional techniques may correlate to cancer aggressiveness and therefore be useful to select patients for focal radiotherapy, prostate sparing surgery, focal ablative therapy and active surveillance. However, more studies are needed to compare the functional techniques and understand the advantages and disadvantages of each one. This article reviews the basic principles of prostatic mp-Magnetic Resonance Imaging, emphasizing its role on detection, staging and active surveillance of prostate cancer.


Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Prostatic Neoplasms.

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