Can the Use of Serial Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging During Active Surveillance of Prostate Cancer Avoid the Need for Prostate Biopsies?-A Systematic Diagnostic Test Accuracy Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Dinul Hettiarachchi
  • Rob Geraghty
  • Patrick Rice
  • Arjun Nambiar
  • Mark Johnson
  • Rahul Gujadhur
  • Michael Mcneill
  • Phillip Haslam
  • Naeem Soomro
  • B M Zeeshan Hameed
  • Bhaskar Somani
  • Rajan Veeratterapillay
  • Bhavan Prasad Rai


CONTEXT: The role of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mp-MRI) during active surveillance (AS) of prostate cancer needs evaluation. It remains unclear whether mp-MRI can replace prostate biopsies completely during AS.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the diagnostic performance of mp-MRI for disease progression in men on AS for prostate cancer.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: This systematic review was performed in accordance with the Cochrane Handbook and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA). Cross-sectional studies that evaluate the diagnostic performance of mp-MRI (index test) for disease progression compared with systematic and targeted prostate/template biopsies or a composite of this (reference standard) were included. A meta-analysis was performed using STATA with "metandi" and "midas" commands.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Seven studies with 800 patients were included in this systematic review. The pooled pathological progression rate was 27%. The pooled sensitivity and specificity of mp-MRI for disease progression were 0.61 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.46-0.74) and 0.78 (95% CI: 0.54-0.91), respectively. Adjusting for a prevalence of disease progression of 30% results in a positive predictive value of 0.43 (95% CI: 0.39-0.46) and a negative predictive value of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.78-0.84). Significant heterogeneity was observed. The meta-regression analysis did not demonstrate any significant outliers.

CONCLUSIONS: It is not possible to supplant prostate biopsies with mp-MRI in AS protocols with the current level of evidence. There is significant institutional variation in the diagnostic performance of mp-MRI during AS. Institutions must internally audit the diagnostic performance of mp-MRI in the AS setting. AS protocols must be based on local diagnostic performance, rather than on international AS protocols that may have limited applicability at individual settings.

PATIENT SUMMARY: In this review, we explored the accuracy of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging in diagnosing disease progression for patients who were enrolled in active surveillance programmes for prostate cancer.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-436
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Urology Oncology
Issue number3
Early online date21 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021