Beyond prostate adenocarcinoma: Expanding the differential diagnosis in prostate pathologic conditions

Yi Li, John Mongan, Spencer C. Behr, Seema Sud, Fergus V. Coakley, Jeffry Simko, Antonio C. Westphalen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Recent advances in magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the prostate gland have dramatically improved the ability to detect and stage adenocarcinoma of the prostate, one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in men and one of the most frequently diagnosed pathologic conditions of the prostate gland. A wide variety of nonadenocarcinoma diseases can also be seen with MR imaging, ranging from benign to malignant diseases, as well as infectious and inflammatory manifestations. Many of these diseases have distinctive imaging features that allow differentiation from prostate acinar adenocarcinoma. Early recognition of these entities produces a more accurate differential diagnosis and may enable more expeditious clinical workup. Benign neoplasms of the prostate include plexiform neurofibroma and cystadenoma, both of which demonstrate distinctive imaging features. Stromal neoplasms of uncertain malignant potential are rare tumors of uncertain malignant potential that are often difficult to distinguish at imaging from more-malignant prostate sarcomas. Other malignant neoplasms of the prostate include urothelial carcinoma, primary prostatic carcinoid, carcinosarcoma, endometrioid or ductal adenocarcinoma, and mucinous adenocarcinoma. Prostatic infections can lead to abscesses of pyogenic, tuberculous, or fungal origins. Finally, miscellaneous idiopathic disorders of the prostate include amyloidosis, exophytic benign prostatic hyperplasia, and various congenital cysts. Considerable overlap can exist in the clinical history and imaging findings associated with these prostate pathologic conditions, and biopsy is often required for ultimate confirmation of the diagnosis. However, many diagnoses, including cystadenoma, mucinous adenocarcinoma, sarcoma, and abscesses, have distinct imaging features, which can enable the informed radiologist to identify the diagnosis and recommend appropriate clinical workup and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1055-1075
Number of pages21
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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