Objectives To assess magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) combined with artificial erection for local staging of penile cancer. Methods We compared local clinical, MRI plus artificial erection, and pathologic staging in 9 cases of penile cancer. Erection was obtained by injecting 10 μg prostaglandin E1 into the corpora cavernosa. T1-weighted and T 2-weighted MRI with and without contrast was obtained using a phased array coil. Local treatment was based on tumor location and extent, as defined by the clinical and MRI findings. Results The histologic diagnosis was squamous cell carcinoma in 8 patients and sarcoma in 1. The MRI and pathologic staging coincided in 8 of 9 patients. MRI, clinical, and pathologic staging coincided in 5 patients: 4 had Stage T2 and 1 had Stage T1 disease. In 2 patients, the MRI and pathologic stage was T2, but the clinical stage differed. Another patient had Stage T2 clinically but T3 by MRI and pathologic staging. In the last patient, none of the stages coincided (clinical Stage T1, MRI Stage T0, and pathologic Stage Tis). The only complication during the procedure was that 1 patient developed priapism after prostaglandin injection, which was relieved by evacuation of the corpora cavernosa. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to use artificial erection with MRI to stage local penile cancer. The method appears promising for local staging of penile cancer, but additional studies are necessary to confirm its utility.
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