Sensitivity of CE-MRI in detecting local recurrence after radical prostatectomy



The aim of our study was to evaluate the sensitivity of contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance (CE-MR) with phased array coil in the diagnosis of local recurrence in patients with prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy and referred for salvage radiotherapy (SRT).

Materials and methods

This retrospective study included 73 patients treated with SRT after radical prostatectomy in the period between September 2006 and November 2017. All patients performed a CE-MRI with phased array coil before the start of SRT. A total of 213 patients treated at the ASST Grande Ospedale Metropolitano Niguarda in the period between September 2006 and November 2017 with SRT after radical prostatectomy were reviewed. Seventy-three patients with a CE-MRI with phased array coil of the pelvis before the start of SRT were included in the present study.


At imaging review, recurrence local recurrent disease was diagnosed in 48 of 73 patients. By considering as reference standard the decrease in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value after radiotherapy, we defined: 41 true positive (patients with MRI evidence of local recurrence and PSA value decreasing after SRT), 7 false positive (patients with MRI evidence of local recurrence without biochemical response after SRT), 3 true negative (patients without MRI evidence of local recurrence and stable or increased PSA value after SRT) and 22 false negative (patients without MRI evidence of local recurrence and PSA value decreasing after SRT) cases. The sensitivity values were calculated in relation to the PSA value before the start of treatment, obtaining a value of 74% for PSA above 0.2 ng/mL.


The sensitivity of CE-MRI in local recurrence detection after radical prostatectomy increases with increasing PSA values. CE-MRI with phased array coil can detect local recurrences after radical prostatectomy with a good sensitivity in patients with pre-RT PSA value above 0.2 ng/mL.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alessandra Coppola.

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The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest and have not any financial relationship with any sponsoring organization.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Written informed consent to the MR examination was obtained from all subjects in this study. Approval by the ethics committee was obtained, and patient’s informed consent was obtained by the ethics committee.

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Coppola, A., Platania, G., Ticca, C. et al. Sensitivity of CE-MRI in detecting local recurrence after radical prostatectomy. Radiol med 125, 683–690 (2020).

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  • Prostate cancer
  • Radical prostatectomy
  • Salvage radiotherapy
  • Magnetic resonance