Magnetic resonance imaging-targeted biopsy versus systematic biopsy in the detection of prostate cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Veeru Kasivisvanathan, Armando Stabile, Joana B. Neves, Francesco Giganti, Massimo Valerio, Yaalini Shanmugabavan, Keiran D. Clement, Debashis Sarkar, Yiannis Philippou, David Thurtle, Jonathan Deeks, Mark Emberton, Yemisi Takwoingi, Caroline M. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
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Context: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-targeted prostate biopsy (MRI-TB) may be an alternative to systematic biopsy for diagnosing prostate cancer.

Objective: The primary aims of this systematic review and meta-analysis were to compare the detection rates of clinically significant and clinically insignificant cancer by MRI-TB with those by systematic biopsy in men undergoing prostate biopsy to identify prostate cancer.

Evidence acquisition: A literature search was conducted using the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane library, and databases. We included prospective and retrospective paired studies where the index test was MRI-TB and the comparator test was systematic biopsy. We also included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) if one arm included MRI-TB and another arm included systematic biopsy. The risk of bias was assessed using a modified Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies-2 checklist. In addition, the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool was used for RCTs.

Evidence synthesis: We included 68 studies with a paired design and eight RCTs, comprising a total of 14 709 men who either received both MRI-TB and systematic biopsy, or were randomised to receive one of the tests. MRI-TB detected more men with clinically significant cancer than systematic biopsy (detection ratio [DR] 1.16 [95% confidence interval {CI} 1.09–1.24], p < 0.0001) and fewer men with clinically insignificant cancer than systematic biopsy (DR 0.66 [95% CI 0.57–0.76], p < 0.0001). The proportion of cores positive for cancer was greater for MRI-TB than for systematic biopsy (relative risk 3.17 [95% CI 2.82–3.56], p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: MRI-TB is an attractive alternative diagnostic strategy to systematic biopsy.

Patient summary: We evaluated the published literature, comparing two methods of diagnosing prostate cancer. We found that biopsies targeted to suspicious areas on magnetic resonance imaging were better at detecting prostate cancer that needs to be treated and avoiding the diagnosis of disease that does not need treatment than the traditional systematic biopsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-303
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number3
Early online date24 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


  • MRI-targeted biopsy
  • systematic biopsy
  • prostate cancer
  • diagnosis
  • clinically significant
  • clinically insignificant
  • meta-analysis
  • systematic review
  • Systematic review
  • Clinically insignificant
  • Systematic biopsy
  • Meta-analysis
  • Clinically significant
  • Magnetic resonance imaging-targeted biopsy
  • Diagnosis
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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