Fusion Guided Prostate Biopsy

Texas Urology Specialists offers leading-edge screening and diagnostic tools for prostate cancer, the most common form of cancer other than skin cancer among men in the United States and the third leading cause of cancer deaths among men.

Fusion guided prostate biopsy, which combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with ultrasound, is a highly effective method for targeted biopsy of the prostate. Also known as a targeted MR/ultrasound biopsy, it provides a biopsy option for patients with continued elevated or rising PSA levels.

Screening and Diagnosis

Men should discuss with their physicians the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening to make an informed decision about testing. Prostate screenings can include the PSA (prostate-specific antigen) blood test and DRE (digital rectal exam).

If either the DRE or PSA test is abnormal, physicians may perform a transrectal ultrasound guided (TRUS) biopsy. If the biopsy is negative, the patient can be monitored with periodic PSA tests. However, if the patient has a positive DRE or a negative TRUS biopsy with a continued elevated or rising PSA, a fusion guided prostate biopsy is an option for further screening and diagnosis.

How It Works

A fusion guided prostate biopsy utilizes pre-biopsy MRI images of the prostate simultaneously during an ultrasound-guided biopsy. Patients first undergo a MRI of the prostate, to identify any suspicious areas. Patients then have an ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy.

During the biopsy, the images from the MRI are fused in real-time with images from the ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy. This simultaneous combination of images guides the physician with greater accuracy during the biopsy to visualize and evaluate questionable areas.

The combined images enable physicians to better differentiate suspicious cells from healthy prostate tissue, and attain a clearer view of the biopsy needle. Physicians can also review the images in 2D and 3D views after the biopsy procedure.


A benefits of a fusion guided biopsy include:

  • More accurately identify suspicious areas within the prostate that need additional evaluation
  • Reduce the amount of tissue samples required
  • Less painful and decreased risk of infection and bleeding
  • Quicker post-biopsy recovery time

Qualified Candidates

This technique is recommended for patients with any of the following characteristics:

  • Elevated prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels greater than four
  • Previous negative transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy with a continued elevated or rising PSA
  • Positive digital rectal examination (DRE) with negative transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy