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About the Scan - Prostate MR Scan

SMIL offers a prostate MR scan to evaluate the extent of prostate cancer. The prostate MR scan is a diagnostic test intended to detect, localize, and characterize primary cancer within the prostate. It can determine if the cancer is confined to the prostate, or if it has spread outside of the prostate gland.

A prostate MR is recommended for patients with a prior negative prostate biopsy, and patients with a prior prostate biopsy who are undergoing active surveillance. MRIs are used in pre-operative staging, and pre-surgical planning.

MRI images can be used in conjunction with Ultrasound images to more precisely direct a biopsy (as opposed to standard non-targeted transrectal biopsy, which are prone to missing clinically significant cancers.

The 2019 NCCN guidelines on prostate cancer recommend the role of prostate MRI in men on active surveillance. Additionally, a prostate MRI is recommended if you have a prior negative biopsy but your PSA levels are still high.

In certain cases, a prostate MR can be used to determine whether a prostate biopsy is needed. Your urologist may have the ability to fuse the MR images with real time ultrasound for a more precise biopsy.

Occasionally, a prostate MR scan is used to evaluate other prostate problems, including:

  • Infection or prostate abscess
  • An enlarged prostate, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Complications after pelvic surgery

Learn more about how to prepare for a prostate MR scan in the preparations for a prostate MR scan section.

Find out more about prostate MR scans in the benefits and risks of a prostate MR scan section.

For a downloadable/printable PDF about this exam with preparation instructions click here.

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