Diagnostic Imaging in Low-Risk Prostate Cancer: More Harm Than Good?

Justin Loloi, Joshua M. Eccles, Grant Owens, Erik Lehman, Matthew G. Kaag, Jay D. Raman, Suzanne B. Merrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction:Despite guidelines recommending that staging imaging is not needed in very low-risk (VLR) and low-risk (LR) prostate cancer (PCa), there is concern for overutilization in these risk groups. We investigate utilization of staging imaging and implications of findings in newly diagnosed VLR and LR PCa patients.Methods:A total of 493 patients diagnosed with PCa between 2011 and 2017 were stratified according to American Urological Association and National Comprehensive Cancer Network® VLR and LR groups. Computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging and bone scan performed at diagnosis was captured and guidelines compliance was evaluated. The significance of radiologist interpreted imaging findings, by imaging type, were classified as normal, nonurological, nonsignificant urological and PCa significant.Results:Greater than 75% of patients in the VLR and LR groups underwent imaging at time of diagnosis. Bone scan was performed in 30% of patients, none of which noted PCa-significant findings, and the majority were normal. CT was utilized in 38% of patients, with only 3 showing PCa-significant findings. Ten CTs showed nonurological/nonsignificant urological findings causing further evaluation. Magnetic resonance imaging was the most utilized scan in low-risk groups, occurring in 70% of patients. Although the majority were normal, 25 scans showed nonsignificant urological findings while only 7 showed PCa-significant findings.Conclusions:Among VLR and LR PCa patients, there is high overutilization of imaging with most studies yielding minimal PCa-significant findings and further evaluation for incidental observations. This exploratory analysis gives awareness that staging imaging in VLR and LR PCa patients may do more harm than good.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalUrology Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology


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