A Prospective Multicenter Comparison Study of Risk-adapted Ultrasound-directed and Magnetic Resonance Imaging-directed Diagnostic Pathways for Suspected Prostate Cancer in Biopsy-naïve Men

Ivo M Wagensveld, Daniel F Osses, Pieter M Groenendijk, Frank M Zijta, Martijn B Busstra, Elena Rociu, Jelle O Barentsz, J P Michiel Sedelaar, Berber Arbeel, Ton Roeleveld, Remy Geenen, Ingrid Koeter, Saskia A van der Meer, Vincent Cappendijk, Rik Somford, Sjoerd Klaver, Hans Van der Lely, Tineke Wolters, Willem Hellings, Maicle R LeterHenk G Van der Poel, Stijn W T P J Heijmink, Frans Debruyne, Jos Immerzeel, Joost Leijte, Joep van Roermund, Razvan Miclea, Erik Planken, André Vis, Igle Jan de Jong, Jasper Tijsterman, Derk Wolterbeek, Anoesjka Claessen, Eric Vrijhof, Joost Nederend, Geert J L H Van Leenders, Chris H Bangma, Gabriel P Krestin, Sebastiaan Remmers, Ivo G Schoots*, MR-PROPER Study Group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: European Association of Urology guidelines recommend a risk-adjusted biopsy strategy for early detection of prostate cancer in biopsy-naïve men. It remains unclear which strategy is most effective. Therefore, we evaluated two risk assessment pathways commonly used in clinical practice.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the diagnostic performance of a risk-based ultrasound (US)-directed pathway (Rotterdam Prostate Cancer Risk Calculator [RPCRC] #3; US volume assessment) and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-directed pathway.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This was a prospective multicenter study (MR-PROPER) with 1:1 allocation among 21 centers (US arm in 11 centers, MRI arm in ten). Biopsy-naïve men with suspicion of prostate cancer (age ≥50 yr, prostate-specific antigen 3.0-50 ng/ml, ± abnormal digital rectal examination) were included.

INTERVENTION: Biopsy-naïve men with elevated risk of prostate cancer, determined using RPCRC#3 in the US arm and Prostate Imaging Reporting and Data System scores of 3-5 in the MRI arm, underwent systematic biopsies (US arm) or targeted biopsies (MRI arm).

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The primary outcome was the proportion of men with grade group (GG) ≥2 cancer. Secondary outcomes were the proportions of biopsies avoided and GG 1 cancers detected. Categorical (nonparametric) data were assessed using the Mann-Whitney U test and χ2 tests.

RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: A total of 1965 men were included in the intention-to-treat population (US arm n = 950, MRI arm n = 1015). The US and MRI pathways detected GG ≥2 cancers equally well (235/950, 25% vs 239/1015, 24%; difference 1.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.6% to 5.0%; p = 0.5). The US pathway detected more GG 1 cancers than the MRI pathway (121/950, 13% vs 84/1015, 8.3%; difference 4.5%, 95% CI 1.8-7.2%; p < 0.01). The US pathway avoided fewer biopsies than the MRI pathway (403/950, 42% vs 559/1015, 55%; difference -13%, 95% CI -17% to -8.3%; p < 0.01). Among men with elevated risk, more GG ≥2 cancers were detected in the MRI group than in the US group (52% vs 43%; difference 9.2%, 95% CI 3.0-15%; p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Risk-adapted US-directed and MRI-directed pathways detected GG ≥2 cancers equally well. The risk-adapted US-directed pathway performs well for prostate cancer diagnosis if prostate MRI capacity and expertise are not available. If prostate MRI availability is sufficient, risk assessment should preferably be performed using MRI, as this avoids more biopsies and detects fewer cases of GG 1 cancer.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Among men with suspected prostate cancer, relevant cancers were equally well detected by risk-based pathways using either ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide biopsy of the prostate. If prostate MRI availability is sufficient, risk assessment should be performed with MRI to reduce unnecessary biopsies and detect fewer irrelevant cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-326
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number3
Early online date24 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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