Prostate Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imagining

What is Prostate Multiparametric Magnetic Resonance Imagining?

Multiparametric magnetic resonance imagining (mpMRI) for the prostate provides a more precise diagnosis in the detection and staging of prostate cancer.

It is increasingly used to detect more aggressive prostate cancers and to establish their location, size and characteristics. It enables a prostate biopsy to be “guided” for accuracy, i.e., it allows suspicious areas to be more suitably assessed and punctured during collection of prostate fragments – so-called fusion biopsy.

It is also indicated for staging prostate cancer, as it contributes to better prostate assessment.

mpMRI can also help the doctor to provide follow-up for treated patients when a recurrence of prostate cancer is suspected.

In the case of patients with less severe cancers, where active surveillance is opted for, the exam is useful for monitoring and following patients.

Importance of mpMRI of the Prostate

This type of magnetic resonance imagining is very important for potential prostate cancer patients, given its capacity for more accurate diagnosis.

Despite it being only possible to confirm prostate cancer definitively via a transrectal prostate biopsy, with prostate mpMRI study of the cancer is more in-depth, which for example helps to define the areas for the biopsy and assists with selecting the right treatment.

How is mpMRI for the Prostate Performed?

Normally, the patient is injected with an endovenous contrast that improves characterisation of the lesion and allows improvement of the images produced and taken.

The patient lies still on the MRI table and enters a kind of tube. This tube has a ring equipped with radiofrequency wave antennae.

The particularity of the test is the multiple assessment of various prostate parameters (hence its name), such as the organ’s morphology and its anatomical, cellular and vascular structure.

A prostate mpMRI takes 30–60 minutes.


Before doing the test, the patient needs to take some preparatory measures:

  • Refrain from eating 4 hours beforehand;
  • Go to the toilet beforehand because once it begins, it cannot be stopped;
  • Remove all metal objects.

Dr. José Santos Dias

Clinical Director of the Instituto da Próstata

  • Bacherlor's Degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lisbon
  • Specialist in Urology
  • Fellow of the European Board of Urology
  • Autor dos livros "Tudo o que sempre quis saber Sobre Próstata", "Urologia fundamental na Prática Clínica", "Urologia em 10 minutos","Casos Clínicos de Urologia" e "Protocolos de Urgência em Urologia"

FAQs about Prostate mpMRI

What is Prostate mpMRI?

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Why is this MRI called Multiparametric?

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Does the patient need to prepare for the MRI?

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Are mpMRI scans only for cancer patients?

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