Prostatic transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided biopsy schemes and TRUS prostatic lesion-guided biopsies

Vincenzo Scattonia, Alexandre R. Zlotta, Luciano Nava, Marco Roscigno, Francesco Montorsi, Patrizio Rigatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent data support the sextant TRUS guided biopsy scheme of the prostate and TRUS prostatic lesion-guided biopsies are inadequate to detect all clinically important cancers. Consequently, different types of schemes with more than six biopsies have recently been proposed. The type of scheme and the number of biopsies needed to optimize the detection rate of prostate cancer is still a somewhat controversial issue. In order to draw attention to the most interesting issues and controversies involving needle biopsies, we describe not only the most common methods used but also some of the new schemes proposed in literature. Methods: Literature on prostate biopsy was reviewed and a selection of articles made. Keywords used for the Medline search included: prostate cancer, biopsy, transrectal ultrasound and diagnosis. Results: Over the last few years, an increasing number of investigators have modified the standard sextant biopsy scheme, increasing the number and areas of the prostate sampled, especially biopsies taken more laterally or in the anterior horn or medially towards the apex of the prostate. Cancer yield does not appear to be related solely to the number of biopsies but also to the regions of the prostate sampled. Conclusions: In the current PSA era, prostatic biopsies only performed at lesions detected by TRUS are obsolete. Sextant and lesion-directed biopsies maximizes detection rate using the lowest possible number of biopsy cores if hypoechoic lesions are clearly visible. In the case of a negative TRUS and/or digital rectal examination, the ideal number of cores and prostate areas requiring sampling is still not defined, but the use of 10 or 12 multiple biopsies is becoming routine in many centers. In the future, biopsy techniques will probably be individualized for each patient according to TRUS findings, prostatic volume and PSA levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Urology, Supplements
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002


  • Biopsy
  • Diagnosis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Transrectal ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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