Introduction: The aim of this study is to compare the histological results of a prostate needle biopsy scheme of 12 and 18 cores used in 372 consecutive patients submitted to an early stage diagnosis programme for prostate cancer (PCa). Materials and Methods: From February 2002 to July 2003 a transperineal TRUS-guided prostate needle biopsy was performed in 372 patients aged 40–73. Indications for biopsy were: suspected DRE, total PSA (PSAt) >10 ng/ml; PSAt equal to 4–10, 2.6–3.9, ≤2.5 ng/ml and PSA F/T <25%, <20% and <15%, respectively. In 256 patients, we performed 12 cores and in 116 cases 18 cores. Results: 159 (42.7%) patients were diagnosed with PCa, 138 (37%) with BPH, 58 (15.7%) with chronic prostatitis, 15 (4%) with a HGPIN, 2 (0.6%) with ASAP. In patients that underwent 12 and 18 cores the incidence of PCa was 39.8 and 49%; the incidence of PCa in patients with PSA ≤10 and >10 ng/ml submitted to 12 and 18 cores was 35 vs. 47% and 57.8 vs. 52%, respectively. The preponderance of clinical stage T1c was 50% (12 cores) vs. 72% (18 cores). The median bioptic Gleason score in both groups resulted 6.6 (12 cores) and 6 (18 cores). In 110 (12 bioptic cores) and in 30 (18 bioptic cores) patients that underwent a RRP, the pTNM proved a significant clinical neoplasm (Gleason score ≧6 and/or tumoral volume >0.5 cm3) in the first group in all cases, while in the second group in 28/30 (94%) cases. Conclusions: Extended schemes of prostate needle biopsy of 18 or more cores increases the PCa diagnosis in early stage and should be adopted for young patients with a PSA <10 ng/ml, negative DRE and in case of rebiopsies.

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