Benign conditions that mimic prostate carcinoma: MR imaging features with histopathologic correlation

Yu Xuan Kitzing*, Adilson Prando, Celi Varol, Gregory S. Karczmar, Fiona Maclean, Aytekin Oto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


Multiparametric magnetic resonance (MR) imaging combines ana­tomic and functional imaging techniques for evaluating the prostate and is increasingly being used in diagnosis and management of pros­tate cancer. A wide spectrum of anatomic and pathologic processes in the prostate may masquerade as prostate cancer, complicating the imaging interpretation. The histopathologic and imaging findings of these potential mimics are reviewed. These entities include the anteri­or fibromuscular stroma, surgical capsule, central zone, periprostatic vein, periprostatic lymph nodes, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), atrophy, necrosis, calcification, hemorrhage, and prostatitis. An un­derstanding of the prostate zonal anatomy is helpful in distinguishing the anatomic entities from prostate cancer. The anterior fibromuscu­lar stroma, surgical capsule, and central zone are characteristic ana­tomic features of the prostate with associated low T2 signal intensity due to dense fibromuscular tissue or complex crowded glandular tissue. BPH, atrophy, necrosis, calcification, and hemorrhage all have characteristic features with one or more individual multiparamet­ric MR imaging modalities. Prostatitis constitutes a heterogeneous group of infective and inflammatory conditions including acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis, infective and noninfective granuloma­tous prostatitis, and malacoplakia. These entities are associated with variable clinical manifestations and are characterized by the histo­logic hallmark of marked inflammatory cellular infiltration. In some cases, these entities are indistinguishable from prostate cancer at multiparametric MR imaging and may even exhibit extraprostatic ex­tension and lymphadenopathy, mimicking locally advanced prostate cancer. It is important for the radiologists interpreting prostate MR images to be aware of these pitfalls for accurate interpretation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-175
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


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