Nonpalpable prostate cancer: Detection with MR imaging

H. Ballentine Carter, Rachel F. Brem, Clare M. Tempany, Andrew Yang, Jonathon I. Epstein, Patrick C. Walsh, Elias A. Zerhouni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The pathologic specimens and magnetic resonance (MR) images of 53 patients with clinically palpable prostate cancer confined to one lobe were studied to evaluate the ability of MR imaging to depict clinically nonpalpable prostate cancer. All patients had undergone imaging with a 1.5-T imager with T1- and T2-weighted sequences in both axial and sagittal planes before undergoing radical retropubic prostatectomy. At pathologic examination, only the palpable tumor was present in 30 of the 53 patients (57%), and 33 unsuspected tumors were present in an area distinct from the palpable tumor in 23 of the patients (43%). MR imaging successfully depicted 51 palpable tumors for a sensitivity of 96% and 19 of the 33 unsuspected tumors for a sensitivity of 58%. The sensitivity of MR imaging in the detection of nonpalpable, posteriorly located tumors was greater than for those located anteriorly (85% vs 15%). MR imaging was false-positive for nonpalpable tumor in 17 of 30 patients for a specificity of 43%. On the basis of these data, MR imaging has greater sensitivity in the depiction of posteriorly located cancer and is limited by a high false-positive rate in the depiction of nonpalpable tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-525
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1991


  • Cancer screening, 844.1214
  • Prostate, MR studies, 844. 1214
  • Prostate, neoplasms, 844.32

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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