The prostate is a walnut-size gland that is an integral part of the male reproductive system. Ultrasound and MRI are the most commonly used diagnostic techniques to image the prostate gland.
The primary reason for performing a MRI scan of the prostate is the evaluation of prostate cancer. A prostate MRI is usually performed after confirmation of cancer following a prostate biopsy. The scan is designed to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the walls of the prostate, or if it is confined solely to the gland itself.
Occasionally, MRI of the prostate is used to evaluate other prostate problems, including prostatitis (an infection of the prostate), prostate abscess, or an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia).