Prevalence and clinical significance of incidental findings on multiparametric prostate MRI

  • Giuseppe Cutaia
  • Gaetano Tosto
  • Roberto CannellaEmail author
  • Alberto Bruno
  • Claudio Leto
  • Leonardo Salvaggio
  • Sofia Cutaia
  • Francesco Paolo Lombardo
  • Nino Dispensa
  • Dario Giambelluca
  • Massimo Midiri
  • Giuseppe Salvaggio



To assess the prevalence and clinical significance of incidental findings (IFs) detected at multiparametric prostate MRI examination.

Materials and methods

Multiparametric prostate MRIs of 647 consecutive patients (mean age 67.1 ± 8.0 years) were retrospectively evaluated by two radiologists recording the presence of all extra-prostatic IFs. Findings were classified as related to or not related to genitourinary system and divided into three classes, according to their clinical significance, as follows: group 1, not significant or scarcely significant; group 2, moderately or potentially significant; and group 3, significant. Differences in distribution of IFs between patients ≤ 65 years old and patients > 65 years old were assessed using Pearson’s χ2 or Fisher’s exact test. Statistical significance level was set at p < 0.05.


Incidental findings (n = 461) were present in 341 (52.7%) patients, while 306 (47.3%) patients did not have any extra-prostatic IF. Overall, IFs were significantly more common in patients > 65 years old (n = 225, 57.0%) compared to patients ≤ 65 years old (n = 116, 46.0%, p = 0.007). There were 139 (30.2%) IFs related to genitourinary system and 322 (69.8%) IFs not related to genitourinary system. Group 3 IFs were almost exclusively present in patients > 65 years old (2.8%, p = 0.034) and included 7 (1.1%) bladder carcinomas, 3 (0.5%) testicle tumors, 2 (0.3%) rectal cancers. Twenty-seven (4.2%) of the 647 patients underwent surgical treatment for IFs not directly related to prostate cancer.


IFs not related to prostate cancer may be frequently encountered on multiparametric prostate MRI, and they are significantly more common in patients > 65 years old.


Prostate cancer Magnetic resonance imaging Incidental findings Collateral findings 



No funding was received for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical approval

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.

Informed consent

Informed consent was waived by the institutional review board.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giuseppe Cutaia
    • 1
  • Gaetano Tosto
    • 1
  • Roberto Cannella
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alberto Bruno
    • 1
  • Claudio Leto
    • 1
  • Leonardo Salvaggio
    • 1
  • Sofia Cutaia
    • 2
  • Francesco Paolo Lombardo
    • 1
  • Nino Dispensa
    • 3
  • Dario Giambelluca
    • 1
  • Massimo Midiri
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Salvaggio
    • 1
  1. 1.Sezione di Scienze Radiologiche, Dipartimento di Biomedicina, Neuroscienze e Diagnostica avanzata (BIND)University of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical Oncology, DICHIRONSUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Unità operativa di Urologia, Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche, Oncologiche e StomatologicheUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

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