SANTA FE—Santa Fe Imaging is the first facility in northern New Mexico to offer new, high-resolution MRI technology to aid in the battle against prostate cancer. Endorectal prostate MRI is a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the newest prostate coil technology and advanced computer aided detection (CAD) software.
“Endorectal prostate MRI exams give physicians and their patients struggling with a difficult prostate cancer diagnosis a clearer picture of how to proceed,” said Santa Fe Imaging Radiologist Margaret Gallegos, M.D. “For patients with high PSA levels with no definite diagnosis and prior negative biopsies, prostate MRI provides more certainty and can add potentially life-saving information.”
The primary use for prostate MRI is to evaluate prostate cancer after positive diagnosis, helping the surgeon more accurately pinpoint the tumor, assess cancer stage and determine the best treatment. Gallegos said the technology has proven to be especially useful for difficult- to-diagnose cases and can actually change the course of treatment.
“Some men may have potential symptoms and signs of prostate cancer, including inflammation, enlarged prostate or elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, that make diagnosis difficult,” Gallegos said. “Using prostate MRI combined with the endorectal coil, we can better avoid potentially unnecessary radical prostatectomy.”
Recent research of prostate biopsies indicates that only about one percent of the prostate is actually sampled. Furthermore, prostate biopsies miss about 20 percent of all malignancies and generally underestimate the disease.
The prostate MRI exam at Santa Fe Imaging uses an advanced Siemens MRI machine in conjunction with a Sentinelle Dual Channel Endorectal Coil and CAD software; Santa Fe Imaging is one of the few imaging centers nationwide to provide this cutting-edge technology. The combined exam results in high-resolution soft tissue images, providing the center’s subspecialty trained radiologists with a more accurate view of the entire prostate. The small coil profile also allows more comfortable patient exams.