Assessing the Role of High-resolution Microultrasound Among Naïve Patients with Negative Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imaging and a Persistently High Suspicion of Prostate Cancer.

Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) is an invaluable diagnostic tool in the decision-making for prostate biopsies (PBx). However, a non-negligible proportion of patients with negative MRI (nMRI) may still harbour prostate cancer (PCa).

To assess whether microultrasound (micro-US) can help in substratifying the presence of PCa and clinically significant PCa (csPCa; ie, any Gleason score ≥7 PCa) in patients with nMRI despite a persistently high clinical suspicion of PCa.

A total of 125 biopsy-naïve patients who underwent micro-US-guided PBx with the ExactVu system for a persistently high suspicion of PCa despite nMRI were prospectively enrolled.

The Prostate Risk Identification using micro-US (PRI-MUS) protocol was used to identify suspicious areas; PBx included targeted sampling of PRI-MUS ≥3 areas and systematic sampling.

The primary endpoint was the assessment of micro-US diagnostic accuracy in detecting csPCa. Secondary endpoints included determining the proportion of patients with nMRI who may avoid PBx after micro-US or transrectal US, presence of cribriform and intraductal patterns on biopsy core examination, predictors of csPCa in patients presenting with nMRI, and comparing micro-US-targeted and systematic PBx in identifying csPCa.

Considering csPCa detection rate, micro-US showed optimal sensitivity and negative predictive value (respectively, 97.1% and 96.4%), while specificity and positive predictive value were 29.7% and 34.0%, respectively. Twenty-eight (22.4%) patients with a negative micro-US examination could have avoided PBx with one (2.9%) missed csPCa. Cribriform and intraductal patterns were found in 14 (41.2%) and four (11.8%) of csPCa patients, respectively. In multivariable logistic regression models, positive micro-US, age, digital rectal examination, and prostate-specific antigen density ≥0.15 emerged as independent predictors of PCa. Targeted and systematic sampling identified 33 (97.1%) and 26 (76.5%) csPCa cases, respectively. The main limitation of the current study is represented by its retrospective single-centre nature on an operator-dependent technology.

Micro-US represents a valuable tool to rule out the presence of csPCa among patients with a persistent clinical suspicion despite nMRI.

According to our results, microultrasound (micro-US) may represent an effective tool for the diagnosis of clinically significant prostate cancer in patients with negative magnetic resonance imaging (nMRI), providing high sensitivity and negative predictive value. Further randomised studies are needed to confirm the potential role of micro-US in the diagnostic pathway of patients with a persistent suspicion of prostate cancer despite nMRI.

European urology open science. 2022 Dec 15*** epublish ***

Pier Paolo Avolio, Giovanni Lughezzani, Vittorio Fasulo, Davide Maffei, Rafael Sanchez-Salas, Marco Paciotti, Cesare Saitta, Fabio De Carne, Alberto Saita, Rodolfo Hurle, Massimo Lazzeri, Giorgio Guazzoni, Nicolò Maria Buffi, Paolo Casale

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Humanitas University, Milan, Italy., Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, McGill University, Montréal, Quebec, Canada., Department of Urology, IRCCS Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy.