(HealthDay News) — Prostate multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is feasible for predicting prostate cancer in an unselected sample of the general population, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.

Robert K. Nam, MD, from the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, and colleagues examined the feasibility of prostate MRI as the primary screening test for prostate cancer in a cohort of unselected men from the general population. All participants underwent prostate multiparametric MRI and random or targeted biopsies as well as prostate-specific antigen testing.

The researchers found that 38.3% of the 47 recruited men had cancer, while 61.7% had no evidence of cancer. The adjusted odds ratio of prostate cancer was significantly higher for the MRI score (2.7; P = 0.004) than for prostate-specific antigen level (1.1; P = 0.21). Among the 30 patients with a normal prostate-specific antigen (<4.0 ng/mL), the positive predictive value was 66.7% in those with an MRI score of 4 or more, and the negative predictive value was 85.7% for those with an MRI score of 3 or less (P = 0.004).

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“Initial results showed that prostate MRI was better to predict prostate cancer than prostate-specific antigen in an unselected sample of the general population,” the authors write.

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1. Nam RK, Wallis CJD, Stojcic-Bendavid J, et al. A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Prostate Cancer Screening in the General Population. J Urol. doi:10.1016/j.juro.2016.01.114.