MRI of the Prostate
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become a key tool in the evaluation and diagnosis of prostate cancer. A multi-parametric MRI provides better images of the prostate with a variety of techniques, in combination with an advanced MRI machine and software package. A key element of this study is having the images reviewed and interpreted by a radiologist with expertise in prostate MRI. In some cases the MRI is used to evaluate a patient who has lab findings suspicious for prostate cancer and in other cases to provide better staging information for a patient who has already been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The prostate MRI studies at Mission are performed in an Independent Diagnostic Testing Facility (IDTF), specializing in outpatient MR imaging, and offering a low-cost alternative. Studies are reviewed by a board-certified, fellowship-trained radiologist at Mission with expertise in prostate MRI. Prior to the MRI, instructions are given to all patients to help them prepare for the study. Not all patients are able to have an MRI of the prostate, due to other surgeries they may have had in the past (e.g., pacemaker placement), claustrophobia, reactions to IV contrast or kidney problems. Please make the doctors and staff aware if you think any of these issues apply.
The results of the study are not immediately available, but an appointment should be scheduled with the provider who ordered the study to review the results. An MRI of the prostate generates hundreds of images, and it takes time for the radiologist to carefully review these and reach a conclusion.