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Prog Urol. 2004 Apr;14(2):144-53.

[Biopsy technique and biopsy schemes for a first series of prostatic biopsies].

[Article in French]

Author information

Service d'Urologie, Hôpital Claude Huriez, Lille, France.



To define the modalities of prostatic biopsies in patients with suspected prostate cancer, particularly concerning prevention of complications, the number of biopsies and the biopsy schemes ensuring an optimal cancer detection rate, and recording of prognostic elements, all with an acceptable morbidity,


Review of the literature.


Information before biopsy: A preliminary visit with oral and written information is necessary before any biopsy procedure in order to: describe the modalities of the procedure to improve the patient's cooperation, detect contraindications, guide preparation, explain the risks and elements of surveillance, and describe the management in the case of complications (level of evidence: IV-3). PREPARATION BEFORE BIOPSY: A single dose of prophylactic antibiotic is necessary before the examination. Longer antibiotic prophylaxis is necessary in patients with risk factors for infection (level of evidence: II). A rectal enema is recommended (level of evidence: III). Routine urine bacteriology and blood coagulation tests are unnecessary (level of evidence: II). In patients taking anticoagulants, this treatment must be stopped before the examination (level of evidence: IV-2). BIOPSY TECHNIQUE: Local anaesthesia with 1% lidocaine by ultrasound-guided injection into the periprostatic spaces is recommended to improve tolerability, when the number of biopsies is > 6 (level of evidence: II-2). General anaesthesia may be necessary in a minority of cases, for local anatomical reasons or when preferred by the patient. Prostatic aspiration biopsies should be performed via a transrectal approach with ultrasound guidance, especially in the absence of a palpable lesion (level of evidence: IV-1). The examination must start with digital rectal examination and complete analysis of the echostructure of the prostate to identify suspicious zones that will also be aspirated. Biopsy scheme as a function of stage: In the case of palpable or visible lesion (stage T2 or T3), at least six transrectal ultrasound-guided lateral sextant biopsies including the peripheral glandular zone at the base, in the middle and at the apex of each lobe as well as a biopsy in a suspicious zone are necessary for cancer detection and staging. Each biopsy must be identified or embedded separately to facilitate identification by the pathologist (level of evidence: IV-1). In the absence of palpable or visible lesion (stage T1a, b, c), another 6 sextant midlobar biopsies are recommended (12 biopsy plan). In the case of prostate volume < 40-50 cm3, the two midlobar biopsies of the apex may be eliminated (10 biopsy plan) (level of evidence: III-2). In the case of prostate volume > 40-50 cm3, anterior biopsies (4 additional biopsies, 16 biopsy scheme) including the glandular zone of benign hyperplasia are not routinely recommended (level of evidence: III-2). In stage T4, a biopsy in each lobe is sufficient for histological confirmation of the diagnosis.


Complementary studies are necessary to validate the 12 biopsy or 16 biopsy plans, especially as a function of prostatic volume, clinical stage and biopsy sequence (first or second series).

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