A comparison of the diagnostic performance of systematic versus ultrasound-guided biopsies of prostate cancer

      Transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is an important tool for urologists and radiologists in the detection of prostate cancer. Various TRUS-guided biopsy techniques are applied in clinical practice. Frequently, only the detection rates achieved with these methods are compared. Other diagnostic performance parameters, particularly the specificity and negative predictive value, are seldom compared. After extensive assessment of the available literature, this review describes the methods of TRUS-guided biopsy for prostate cancer detection. A distinction was made between systematic biopsies and biopsies that target a perceived (hypoechoic or Doppler-enhancing) lesion on imaging. Subsequently, the diagnostic performance (sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and accuracies) was compared between these techniques. Imaging-guided biopsy showed better diagnostic performance than systematic biopsy with higher sensitivity. The combinations of sensitivity and specificity were highest for color Doppler and contrast-enhanced targeted biopsy. Studies targeting hypoechoic lesions had relatively high sensitivity, but specificity was low. Presently, however, with widespread prostate-specific antigen screening, fewer prostate cancers are hypoechoic, and the value of targeting hypoechoic lesions has diminished. Performing color or contrast-enhanced Doppler biopsy or adding these techniques to systematic biopsies improves diagnostic performance, particularly by increasing sensitivity.
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