Answers for Men concerned about
or diagnosed with Prostate Cancer

Dr Richard Goldberg M.D.
Prostate & Body Imaging Specialist

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    A. There are varying opinions in the use of an endorectal coil for an MRI of the prostate. We have it available on request and I will use it sometimes for special re-staging of post radiation/ surgery patients. For the first few years of our program, we used it on all patients. However, our experience is similar to many other facilities where we realized that there is a trade off of the added signal from the coil versus the image artifact and prostate distortion that often results. In addition, in some men it is uncomfortable and may result in bowel spasm or involuntary movement that can degrade image quality. At 3T and with pelvic coils of the type that we have at Partners, the signal is already so strong that the ER coil is not really necessary for most exams. We have found that our image resolution, as well as the signal enabling us to perform very rapid high resolution imaging following contrast administration (temporal resolution) and the better information we receive for other parameters such as Diffusion Weighted Imaging and Spectroscopy, is still superior and diagnostic on our system, without the problems that the coil can cause. Many facilities will continue to use the ER coil especially on 1.5T or lesser MRIs or with less adequate pelvic coils.

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