UroNav MRI-guided Prostate Biopsy

Until very recently, if you needed a biopsy to detect prostate cancer, your doctor would have used ultrasound images to guide the needle and decide which areas of the prostate gland to sample. However, those ultrasound images can’t produce a sharp enough image for doctors to actually see cancers within the gland—so the biopsy samples from the prostate are chosen randomly, and in a significant number of cases, potentially aggressive cancers are missed or additional biopsies are needed to detect prostate cancer.

Today, however, at Middlesex Hospital we’re using innovative new technology to enhance the way doctors are detecting and treating prostate cancer. Our new “UroNav” system fuses traditional ultrasound imagery with pre-biopsy MRI images. This allows doctors to see much clearer images of the prostate gland and any potential cancers. And, because the this prostate cancer test is more highly targeted, it helps reduce the number of biopsies needed to make a diagnosis—which results in less stress and less pain for patients.

“Middlesex Hospital’s powerful 3-Tesla MRI gives an excellent picture of the prostate and clearly shows prostate cancers which we could not visualize before,” according to urologist Edward Myer, M.D. “By fusing the MRI images with ultrasound guidance at the time of biopsy, we are able to find small volumes of aggressive cancers, which may have gone undetected. We are very enthusiastic about this new technology.”

In fact, recent studies show that MRI-guided prostate biopsies are three times as likely to identify prostate cancer when compared to traditional ultrasound-guided biopsies alone. And, because our 3-Tesla MRI uses a stronger magnet than many other MRI scanners, we’re able to perform the scan without needing to insert an endorectal coil—making the test not only more accurate, but more comfortable.

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