What is a Prostate MRI?

A Brief Description of the Ultimate Prostate Scan

Multi-Parametric  Magnetic Resonance Imaging with Diffusion (MRI-D) and DCE (Perfusion) featured at the Diagnostic Center for Disease™ represents a “state of the art” comprehensive scan of the prostate. The diagnostic features seen with this scan are not seen with any other diagnostic modality including Color ‘Power Doppler’ Ultrasound, PET scan, Prostascint scan or CAT scan. The MRI scan provides a spectacularly detailed image of the prostate that has never been seen in a clinical setting. As some have said, this scan allows us to establish a “road map” to disease detection, allowing us to do for the patient and the disease what is required and nothing more. Furthermore, this scan enables our Physician staff to evaluate the extent of disease including whether the disease, when present, has escaped the capsule of the prostate or whether the disease has invaded the Seminal Vesicles. For men who have been diagnosed previously with prostate cancer, this scan may change the selected treatment choice as it so commonly does. There is little point, as example, in having your prostate removed (Robotic Prostatectomy) when it is established that the cancer has escaped the capsule of the prostate. Additionally, the MRI technology allows us to target a lesion in question rather than expose a patient to “prostate mapping” or saturation biopsies. The risks are high and varied when the prostate gland is biopsied at half centimeter intervals during a saturation biopsy procedure including ‘needle tracking’, extensive bleeding, sepsis and even death. This is not a procedure we endorse!

At the Diagnostic Center for Disease™, we understand that when biopsies are performed the process can spread cancer so we encourage a pre-biopsy protocol that disables and weakens cells that “needle track” through the prostate capsule making it virtually impossible for the locally escaping cells to become a focal site of metastatic cancer. Clearly, we see value in a patient avoiding needless biopsies or limited targeted biopsies (if we must) guided by the MRI images to enhance our decision making process relevant to treatment (if required). In effect, based on how we see the prostate, we are able to avoid the “shot in the dark” approach, commonly seen in conveyor belt medicine, thereby, taking the guess work out of the biopsy procedure.  In cases where no cancer is found on MRI, despite an elevated PSA level, a needless biopsy can be avoided while the inflammatory disease encountered can be treated. We think you will appreciate the way we think and embrace the way we care for you.

While many sequences of image acquisition are performed routinely during the course of your MRI scan, we are looking for a concordance of factors that enable an improved diagnostic commentary. To this end, we have recently added an additional scan sequence called Dynamic Contrast Enhancement (DCE or Perfusion). This exciting scan sequence allows us to capture and subsequently validate how cells process a safe and well studied injectable called Gadolinium. When regions of interest are identified on MRI, the application of DCE with Diffusion may be the difference maker between calling a region of interest cancer or non-cancerous. At the Diagnostic Center for Disease™, we value the health of every person we meet and treat all patients with the utmost dignity and respect. In the event of questions or comments, please feel free to visit our center or have a ‘conference call’ with Dr. Ronald Wheeler, our Medical Director. We believe that knowledge is power; enabling you, the patient, to have the decision making tools you need to define a healthier future.