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Urology. 2003 May;61(5):961-6.

Best approach for prostate cancer detection: a prospective study on transperineal versus transrectal six-core prostate biopsy.

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  • 1San Giovanni Hospital, Rome, Italy.



To compare the efficacy of transperineal versus transrectal six-core prostate biopsy. Transrectal sextant biopsy is the most common method for prostate cancer detection. However, the cancer detection rate with this technique is increasingly considered inadequate. Different prostate biopsy procedures, mainly based on addition of additional transrectal cores to traditional sextant biopsy, have been proposed to increase the cancer diagnosis rate. The efficacy of the transperineal approach has not yet been fully established.


In a prospective study, 107 patients with elevated prostate-specific antigen levels (greater than 4.0 ng/mL) underwent prostate biopsy with six transperineal cores, using a "fan" scheme, plus six transrectal cores, according to the sextant technique. The median prostate-specific antigen level was 8.2 ng/mL (range 4.1 to 240).


The overall cancer detection rate was 40% (43 of 107); prostate cancer was found in 38% (41 of 107) of patients with the transperineal approach and in 32% (34 of 107) of patients with the transrectal approach. Of 43 diagnosed cancers, 41 (95%) were found with the transperineal approach and 34 (79%) with the transrectal approach (P = 0.012). No patient had low-grade cancer (Gleason score 2 to 4), 25 patients had intermediate-grade cancer (Gleason score 5 to 6), and 18 patients had high-grade cancer (Gleason score 7 to 10).


This is the first report comparing in vivo two different approaches to prostate biopsy. Transperineal biopsy seems superior to transrectal biopsy to detect prostate cancer. Both the transperineal and the transrectal approach should be familiar to the urologist who needs to obtain an adequate cancer detection rate. Transrectal sextant biopsy cannot be considered the standard technique for prostate cancer detection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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