Department of Radiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. S.Heijmink@rad.umcn.nl
In the diagnostic process of prostate cancer, several radiologic imaging modalities significantly contribute to the detection and localization of the disease. These range from transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to positron emission tomography (PET). Within this review, after evaluation of the literature, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these imaging modalities in clarifying the patient's clinical status as to whether he has prostate cancer or not and if so, where it is located, so that therapy appropriate to the patient's disease may be administered. TRUS, specifically with the usage of intravenous contrast agents, provides an excellent way of directing biopsy towards suspicious areas within the prostate in the general (screening) population. MRI using functional imaging techniques allows for highly accurate detection and localization, particularly in patients with prior negative ultrasound guided biopsies. A promising new development is the performance of biopsy within the magnetic resonance scanner. Subsequently, a proposal for optimal use of radiologic imaging is presented and compared with the European and American urological guidelines on prostate cancer.