Prostate MRI: Access to and current practice of prostate MRI in the United States

James L. Leake, Rulon Hardman, Vijayanadh Ojili, Ian Thompson, Alampady Shanbhogue, Javier Hernandez, Jelle Barentsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Purpose: MRI of the prostate has increasingly become more important in clinical medicine because of the risk of over-detection of low-grade, low-volume prostate cancer, as well as because of the poor sampling of transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy in high-risk patients. We sought to determine the access, imaging protocols, and indications for MRI imaging of the prostate in the United States. Methods: A brief survey was sent through mailing lists to members of the Society of Abdominal Radiology and Texas Radiological Society. Results: Thirty-six academic centers responded to the survey, 88.9% of which routinely perform prostate MRI. Nine centers routinely performed imaging at 1.5T with an endorectal coil (25%), 11 performed at 3.0T without an endorectal coil (31%), and 10 performed at 3.0T with an endorectal coil (28%). All institutions used T1-weighted axial and orthogonal T2-weighted sequences. Most groups used diffusion-weighted imaging (94.7%) and dynamic contrast enhancement (81.6%). Only 21.1% of groups performing prostate MRI routinely performed MR spectroscopy as part of their protocol. Conclusions: Prostate MRI is becoming a commonly performed examination at academic institutions, with most locations performing prostate MRI at minimum standards. There is a need to educate nonacademic practices regarding the addition of functional MRI techniques to anatomic techniques, increase the number of institutions that regularly perform prostate MRI, and increase access to direct MRI-guided biopsy in institutions that perform prostate MRI on a regular basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-160
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • MR spectroscopy
  • MRI
  • Prostatic neoplasm
  • United States
  • access to health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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