March 11, 2016
Tech Terms: Multiparametric MRI
From time-to-time, you may hear us reference technologies we use to help bring Vituro Health patients the best prostate care achievable. If you want to know more about what some of these technologies are, you have come to the right place.
One of the more important diagnostics we use with our patients is a multiparametric MRI (mp-MRI). Vituro medical director, Stephen Scionti, M.D., says using this technology versus more traditional diagnostics to detect prostate cancer is like upgrading from a low definition television to a high-definition television; in other words, it is much higher quality and you can see in much greater detail.
“Multiparametric MRI means we are taking an MRI image of the prostate with multiple parameters — specifically three different sequences,” said Dr. Scionti. “Instead of looking at the entire pelvis or abdomen, it will be a study that is really focused on the prostate, because, with all resolution focused on the prostate, the result is very sharp pictures.”
“By interpreting three different types of MRI pictures, the radiologist can give us a grading of any abnormality seen on the prostate,” explained Dr. Scionti, “which tells us the likelihood an abnormality on MRI is cancer and how aggressive it is likely to be.”
A multiparametric MRI helps doctors:
- Accurately determine if there is cancer in the prostate
- Map where the cancer is on the prostate
- Provide a “target” to biopsy
- Evaluate if patients are a candidate for focal targeted therapy
According to Dr. Scionti, using a mp-MRI is not yet standard procedure across the industry because even if the technology is available, the knowledge and training needed to use it to its potential may be lacking.
“Hardware is prevalent, but skill and experience is not found in many communities. One of the advantages of Vituro Health is we have a skilled MRI radiologist as part of our team, Gerald Grubbs, M.D. We can assure our patients at Vituro that they are not only getting a high-quality mp-MRI, but also a high-quality read of their results, because those features are integral to our system at Vituro.”
“Multiparametric MRI for the prostate is something relatively new to the radiology community in general and there has been a lot of people starting to offer it over the last three years,” said Gerald Grubbs, M.D., interventional radiologist for Vituro Health. “To deliver high-quality images is one thing, another is the ability to interpret the exams accurately, which is hit or miss all over the place. I’ve had an active interest in mpMRI for more than a decade and have read over 10,000 prostate MRIs, which puts me in the top one percent of radiologists out there.”