Tag Archive for: transperineal biopsy


Article of the Week: Evaluation of targeted and systematic biopsies using MRI and US image-fusion guided transperineal prostate biopsy

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Multicentre evaluation of targeted and systematic biopsies using magnetic resonance and ultrasound image-fusion guided transperineal prostate biopsy in patients with a previous negative biopsy


Nienke L. Hansen*†‡, Claudia Kesch§, Tristan Barrett, Brendan Koo, Jan P. Radtke§**, David Bonekamp** , Heinz-Peter Schlemmer**, Anne Y. Warren‡††, Kathrin Wieczorek‡‡Markus Hohenfellner§, Christof Kastner§§ and Boris Hadaschik§


*Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen, Aachen, Germany, CamPARI Clinic, Addenbrookes Hospital and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne§Department of Urology, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, Department of Radiology, Addenbrookes Hospital and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, **Department of Radiology, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany, ††Department of Pathology, AddenbrookeHospital and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, ‡‡Institute of Pathology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany, and §§Department of Urology, Addenbrookes Hospital and University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK


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To evaluate the detection rates of targeted and systematic biopsies in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) image-fusion transperineal prostate biopsy for patients with previous benign transrectal biopsies in two high-volume centres.

Patients and Methods

A two centre prospective outcome study of 487 patients with previous benign biopsies that underwent transperineal MRI/US fusion-guided targeted and systematic saturation biopsy from 2012 to 2015. Multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) was reported according to Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) Version 1. Detection of Gleason score 7–10 prostate cancer on biopsy was the primary outcome. Positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values including 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. Detection rates of targeted and systematic biopsies were compared using McNemar’s test.


The median (interquartile range) PSA level was 9.0 (6.7–13.4) ng/mL. PI-RADS 3–5 mpMRI lesions were reported in 343 (70%) patients and Gleason score 7–10 prostate cancer was detected in 149 (31%). The PPV (95% CI) for detecting Gleason score 7–10 prostate cancer was 0.20 (±0.07) for PI-RADS 3, 0.32 (±0.09) for PI-RADS 4, and 0.70 (±0.08) for PI-RADS 5. The NPV (95% CI) of PI-RADS 1–2 was 0.92 (±0.04) for Gleason score 7–10 and 0.99 (±0.02) for Gleason score ≥4 + 3 cancer. Systematic biopsies alone found 125/138 (91%) Gleason score 7–10 cancers. In patients with suspicious lesions (PI-RADS 4–5) on mpMRI, systematic biopsies would not have detected 12/113 significant prostate cancers (11%), while targeted biopsies alone would have failed to diagnose 10/113 (9%). In equivocal lesions (PI-RADS 3), targeted biopsy alone would not have diagnosed 14/25 (56%) of Gleason score 7–10 cancers, whereas systematic biopsies alone would have missed 1/25 (4%). Combination with PSA density improved the area under the curve of PI-RADS from 0.822 to 0.846.


In patients with high probability mpMRI lesions, the highest detection rates of Gleason score 7–10 cancer still required combined targeted and systematic MRI/US image-fusion; however, systematic biopsy alone may be sufficient in patients with equivocal lesions. Repeated prostate biopsies may not be needed at all for patients with a low PSA density and a negative mpMRI read by experienced radiologists.

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Editorial: Getting to the right biopsy in the right patient at the right time

Guidelines now recommend performing multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) and targeted prostate biopsies in men with a history of prior negative biopsy and continued concern for significant cancer. This new approach to prostate re-biopsy is aimed at improving prostate cancer detection. However, several important clinical factors may help clinicians’ fine-tune the process of repeated prostate biopsy. In this month’s issue of the BJUI, Hansen et al. [1] present a multicentre study of patients with prior negative TRUS biopsy undergoing MRI/TRUS-fusion transperineal biopsy.

In the study, 487 men undergo mpMRI and transperineal biopsy with detection of clinically significant (Gleason score 7–10) cancer as the primary outcome. Several factors are evaluated to compare cancer detection rates, including systematic biopsies, targeted biopsies, PSA density (PSAD), and Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System (PI-RADS) version 1 score. From their cohort, a suspicious lesion (PIRADS 3–5) was identified in 343 (70%) patients. Prostate cancer was detected in 249 (51%), with 149 (31%) having Gleason score 7–10 cancer. Potentially missed significant cancers from the anterior prostate were found in 27% (40/149). Cancer was detected in 28% (40/144) of patients with PI-RADS 1–2 lesions, with 8% (11/144) being Gleason score 7–10. For patients with PI-RADS 3–5 lesions, cancer was identified in 61% (209/343) with 40% (138/343) being Gleason score 7–10. For patients with PI-RADS 3–5 lesions, systematic biopsies alone failed to detect 13/138 significant cancers, while targeted biopsies missed 24/138 cancers. The combination of systematic and targeted biopsies was significantly better for Gleason score 7–10 prostate cancer detection than either alone. The addition of a PSAD threshold of 0.15 ng/mL/mL for the detection of Gleason score 7–10 resulted in a significant improvement in the area under the curve (0.846) of the receiver operating characteristic curve for PSAD groups and PI-RADS score.

Getting the right biopsy: In this study [1], patients with a prior negative TRUS biopsy underwent TRUS-fusion transperineal biopsy. Having two approaches to prostate biopsy can be advantageous when evaluating men with prior negative biopsies. Historical studies have found comparable prostate cancer detection between transrectal and transperineal biopsies for men undergoing both initial biopsy [2] and saturation re-biopsy [3]. However, the detection of anterior lesions has remained a persistent challenge from the transrectal approach. As in the current study [1], use of transperineal biopsy can detect cancer in up to 30% of tumours that would otherwise be missed on extended template TRUS biopsy [4]. Although attempts to reach anterior lesions from the transrectal approach may be feasible [5], the transperineal approach is felt to provide better sampling in comparison [6].

Getting the right patient: Patient-specific factors such as PI-RADS lesions 3–5 and PSAD have become increasing utilised for stratifying patients who may benefit from additional biopsies using image guidance. As the authors suggest, patients with negative imaging may consider deferring repeat biopsy, particularly those with reassuring PSADs (<0.15 ng/mL/mL). In their study [1], only 4% (6/144) of men with negative mpMRI and a PSAD of <0.15 ng/mL/mL harboured clinically significant cancer (five Gleason score 3 + 4 and one Gleason score 8). Patients with concerning PSAD, but negative mpMRI and those with lesions identified in the peripheral zone could have the option to undergo repeated, fusion-directed TRUS or transperineal biopsy. For patients with lesions identified in the anterior prostate, a transperineal prostate biopsy may provide the highest detection rate.

At the right time: Now that high quality prostate MRI is becoming more widely available; men with a prior negative biopsy should strongly consider the benefit of repeated biopsy after prostate imaging. In addition to identifying suspicious lesions, calculating PSAD has been found to improve the likelihood of detecting clinically significant prostate cancer. Without additional testing, a personalised biopsy plan can be created.

A thorough discussion of the prescribed biopsy approach and the likelihood of detecting a significant cancer is the final step to the right biopsy in the right patient at the right time.

Kelly Stratton


Department of Urology, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City, OK, USA


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1 Hansen NL, Kesch C, Barrett T et al. Multicentre evaluation of target and systematic biopsies using magnetic resonance and ultrasound image-fusion guided transperineal prostate biopsy in patients with a previous negative biopsy. BJU Int 2016; 120: 6318


2 Hara R, Jo Y, Fujii T et al. Optimal approach for prostate cancer detection as initial biopsy: prospective randomized study comparing transperineal versus transrectal systematic 12-core biopsy. Urology 2008; 71: 1915


3 Abdollah F, Novara G, Briganti A et al. Trans-rectal versus trans- perineal saturation rebiopsy of the prostate: is there a difference in cancer detection rate? Urology 2011; 77: 9215


4 KomaiY, Numao N, Yoshida S et al. High diagnostic ability of multiparametric magnetic re onance imaging to detect anterior prostate cancer miss ed by transrectal 1 2-core biopsy. JUrol2013; 190: 867 7


5 Volkin D, Turkbey B, Hoang AN et al. Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and subsequent MRI/ultrasonography fusion-guided biopsy increase the detection of anteriorly located prostate cancers. BJU Int 2014; 114: E439


6 Borkowetz A, Platzek I, Toma M et al. Direct comparison of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) results with nal histopathology in patients with proven prostate cancer in MRI/ ultrasonography-fusion biopsy. BJU Int 2016; 118: 21320


Article of the week: A protocol for transperineal sector biopsies of the prostate

Every week the Editor-in-Chief selects the Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by prominent members of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Indications, results and safety profile of transperineal sector biopsies (TPSB) of the prostate: a single centre experience of 634 cases

Lona Vyas, Peter Acher, Janette Kinsella, Ben Challacombe, Richard T.M. Chang, Paul Sturch, Declan Cahill, Ashish Chandra and Richard Popert

The Urology Centre, Guy’s Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

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• To describe a protocol for transperineal sector biopsies (TPSB) of the prostate and present the clinical experience of this technique in a UK population.


• A retrospective review of a single-centre experience of TPSB approach was undertaken that preferentially, but not exclusively, targeted the peripheral zone of the prostate with 24–38 cores using a ‘sector plan’. Procedures were carried out under general anaesthetic in most patients.

• Between January 2007 and August 2011, 634 consecutive patients underwent TPSB for the following indications: prior negative transrectal biopsy (TRB; 174 men); primary biopsy in men at risk of sepsis (153); further evaluation after low-risk disease diagnosed based on a 12-core TRB (307).


• Prostate cancer was found in 36% of men after a negative TRB; 17% of these had disease solely in anterior sectors.

• As a primary diagnostic strategy, prostate cancer was diagnosed in 54% of men (median PSA level was 7.4 ng/mL).

• Of men with Gleason 3+3 disease on TRB, 29% were upgraded and went on to have radical treatment.

• Postoperative urinary retention occurred in 11 (1.7%) men, two secondary to clots. Per-urethral bleeding requiring hospital stay occurred in two men. There were no cases of urosepsis.


• TPSB of the prostate has a role in defining disease previously missed or under-diagnosed by TRB. The procedure has low morbidity.

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Editorial: Is zero sepsis alone enough to justify transperineal prostate biopsy?

The landscape of infectious complications after TRUS-guided biopsy of the prostate has changed dramatically. While sepsis after TRUS-guided prostate biopsy has always been a concern for urologists performing this very common procedure, in the past couple of years a number of factors have added to these pre-existing concerns for urologists and patients alike.

First, key papers have reported the true incidence of sepsis and hospital re-admission after TRUS biopsy and have shown that these rates are increasing. Loeb et al. [1] reported that the 30-day re-admission rate in a Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)-Medicare population was 6.9% and that this rate is increasing. Nam et al. [2] similarly reported a 3.5-fold increase in hospital admissions after prostate biopsy in the previous 10 years, principally attributable to infection-related complications. These reports have been replicated around the world and there is consensus that this is a growing problem.

Second, there are increasing concerns about the emergence of resistant organisms, in particular, extended spectrum beta lactamase (ESBL), in regions where antibiotic use has contributed to the emergence of these strains [3]. Media attention has focused on this issue and has led to increased concerns among urologists and patients alike. It has also led to a requirement for extra precautions when assessing patients for prostate biopsy such that in some regions, rectal swabs are being taken to identify ESBL-carriers ahead of time. In a contemporary series, Taylor et al. [4] report that 19% of men undergoing transrectal prostate biopsy in Canada carry ciprofloxacin-resistant coliforms in rectal swabs. The thought of passing a needle through this flora into the prostate is somewhat disturbing; rectal swabs may become mandatory when offering a TRUS-guided biopsy to any patient and should absolutely be taken if planning a TRUS biopsy in someone who has travelled to South-East Asia in the preceding 6 months.

The Bloomberg News, in a well-researched report into antibiotic use in India and the emergence of resistant strains of Escherichia coli, reported some startling statistics about the overuse of antibiotics in that country, and described how the ‘perfect storm’ of antibiotic overuse, poverty and poor sanitation (half of the country’s 1.2 billion residents defaecate in the open), is contributing to the emergence of superbugs colonizing the gut of dwellers and visitors to India [5]. It is clear that even walking through a puddle in New Delhi puts a visitor at high risk of harbouring ESBL organisms in the rectum for many months after.

In this month’s BJUI, Vyas et al. [6] describe a consecutive series of 634 patients undergoing prostate biopsy at Guy’s Hospital in London using a transperineal template-guided approach, and report a sepsis rate of zero. They also report other notable factors including a 36% cancer detection rate in men who had previously undergone transrectal prostate biopsy with no evidence of malignancy and, in men on active surveillance for Gleason 6 prostate cancer, they observed upgrading to Gleason ≥7 cancer in 29% of cases after immediate re-staging biopsy using a transperineal approach. An even larger contemporary study from Pepe et al. [7] reports zero sepsis in a consecutive series of 3000 men undergoing transperineal prostate biopsy.

It is quite impossible to imagine such large series of prostate biopsies with no episodes of sepsis if performed using a transrectal approach. The documented increasing levels of ESBL and high levels of asymptomatic gut colonization, especially for those resident or travelling through South-East Asia, mean that adequate risk assessment and counselling of patients before TRUS biopsy is more important than ever before. A careful history regarding recent antibiotic use is also essential as previous recent use of quinolones is also a risk factor for infection after a transrectal biopsy [8].

While widespread adoption of a transperineal approach to prostate biopsy would have considerable resource and logistic issues, and inevitably would not be accepted by all urologists, the rising rate of infectious complications and of resistant organisms colonizing the rectum may mean that continuing with a transrectal approach becomes too risky and therefore unacceptable to patients and clinicians alike. While a transperineal approach also appears to add value in terms of more accurate staging and also facilitates the emerging interest in MRI fusion-guided biopsies and focal therapy, zero sepsis alone may be enough to convince many that a transrectal approach should no longer be preferred.

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Declan G. Murphy*, Mahesha Weerakoon and Jeremy Grummet

*Division of Cancer Surgery, University of Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, †Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre, Epworth Richmond Hospital, and ‡Department of Urology, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


  1. Loeb S, Carter HB, Berndt SI, Ricker W, Schaeffer EM. Complications after prostate biopsy: data from SEER-Medicare. J Urol 2011; 186: 1830–1834
  2. Nam RK, Saskin R, Lee Y et al. Increasing hospital admission rates for urological complications after transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy. J Urol 2010; 183: 963–968
  3. Williamson DA, Masters J, Freeman J, Roberts S. Travel-associated extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli bloodstream infection following transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy. BJU Int 2012; 109: E21–22
  4. Taylor S, Margolick J, Abughosh Z et al. Ciprofloxacin resistance in the faecal carriage of patients undergoing transrectal ultrasound guided prostate biopsy. BJU Int 2013; 111: 946–953
  5. Gale JN, Narayan A. Drug-defying germs from India speed post-antibiotic era. 2012; Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-07/drug-defying-germs-from-india-speed-post-antibiotic-era.html. Accessed June 2014
  6. Pepe PA, Aragona F. Morbidity after transperineal prostate biopsy in 3000 patients undergoing 12 vs 18 vs more than 24 needle cores. Urology 2013; 81: 1142–1146
  7. Patel U, Dasgupta P, Amoroso P, Challacombe B, Pilcher J, Kirby R. Infection after transrectal ultrasonography-guided prostate biopsy: increased relative risks after recent international travel or antibiotic use. BJU Int 2012; 109: 1781–1785


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