Questionnaire based evaluation of prostate biopsy complication comparing different bioptic schemes

Rocco Damiano, Andrea Oliva, Francesco Cantiello, Ciro Esposito, Sisto Perdonà, Marco De Sio, Massimo Bitonti, Rosario Sacco, Massimo D'Armiento

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives. The systematic parasagittal sextant biopsy technique under transrectal ultrasound guidance, routinely performed to diagnose and stage prostate cancer, has been shown to outperform directed or random biopsies, revolutioning our ability to detect carcinoma of the prostate. Different biopsy schemes have been proposed with similar positive percentage of cancer detection. The present study evaluate from the patient's prespective the complications with the use of two different systematic biopsy protocols with 14 and 8 cores. Material and Methods. Between January 1999 and February 2000, 177 consecutive patients, mean age 64.1 ± 7,7 years, referred for normal screening digital rectal examination (DRE) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) level 4 - 10 ng/ml, were submitted to a transrectal US examination followed by lesion directed and 14 scheme systematic biopsies to detect prostate cancer. Biopsies were obtained from conventional sextant biopsies (6 core) and 3 alternate sites which included: the right and left extreme lateral peripheral zone between anterior tissue and posterior gland base (2 core); the right and left transition zone, immediately adjacent to the urethra anterior and posterior (4 core) and the right and left central gland in the mid zone typical of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) (2 core). All specimens were separated for specific location identification. Cancer was identified in 61 patients (34.46%). Traditional sextant biopsies showed 23 patients (37.7%) with positive core to detect cancer, while a sextant regimen incorporating lateral peripheral zone biopsies and transitional zone detected 19 cancer (31.1%). The combination of lateral peripheral and transitional zone alone detected cancer in 59 patients. No cancer was detected in central gland. The lateral peripheral zone was the most frequently positive site biopsy followed by the transitional zone. According the results of our study from April 2000 we started to consider a novel scheme to reduce number of biopsies mantaining the same sensitivity. A subsequent group of 121 patients, mean age 61 ± 4,6 years, enrolled from April 2000 to May 2001, underwent a transrectal US examination followed by lesion directed and 8 scheme systematic biopsies. None of the patients had previously undergone prostate biopsy. In all patients a visual analog score (VAS) questionnaire about pain and complications was obtained 7 days after the procedure. Results. Of the 149 patients who completed the questionnaire 9,9% found the procedure moderately to extremely painful afterwards, with a VAS > 5, the commonest of these complications being pain and voiding difficulties with a mean value of 15,8%, systemic symptoms as fever of sweats with a mean value of 7,65% of cases. Between the two groups submitted to 14 or 8 scheme biopsies, we detect a statistically significant difference for urethral bleeding (7,3% vs 4,9% p value 0,05) and rectal bleeding (10,3% vs 3,7% p value 0,04), systemic symptoms 10,3% vs 5,0% p value 0,05) and painful voiding afterwards (5,8% vs 2,4% p value 0,02). Conclusions. Ultrasound guided transrectal biopsy of the prostate is a well tolerated and effective method for obtaining multiple biopsy specimens from the prostate with low incidence of serious complications. The absolute value of referred complications with VAS <5 results high, but the rate of major complications results low. The 8 biopsy scheme, including sampling in peripherial zone at midgland and transition zone periuretrally toward the base, should be considered in a initial biopsy scheme to reduce number of biopsy and enhancing sensitivity, with a significant less degree of complication rate compared to a extensive 14 biopsy scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
Number of pages6
JournalArchivio Italiano di Urologia e Andrologia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003


  • Biopsy
  • Morbidity
  • Pain
  • Prostate
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Urology


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