Evaluating the size criterion for PI-RADSv2 category 5 upgrade: is 15 mm the best threshold?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Abdominal Radiology








Biopsy; Multi-parametric MRI; PI-RADS version 2; Prostate cancer; Prostate imaging reporting and data system; PSA


© 2018, This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine if the ≥ 15 mm threshold currently used to define PIRADS 5 lesions is the optimal size threshold for predicting high likelihood of clinically significant (CS) cancers. Materials: Three hundred and fifty-eight lesions that may be changed from category 4 to 5 or vice versa on the basis of the size criterion (category 4: n = 288, category 5: n = 70) from 255 patients were evaluated. Kendall’s tau-b statistic accounting for inter-lesion correlation, generalized estimation equation logistic regression, and receiver operating curve analysis evaluated two lesion size-metrics (lesion diameter and relative lesion diameter—defined as lesion diameter/prostate volume) for ability to identify CS (Gleason grade ≥ 3 + 4) cancer at targeted biopsy. Optimal cut-points were identified using the Youden index. Analyses were performed for the whole prostate (WP) and zone-specific sub-cohorts of lesions in the peripheral and transition zones (PZ and TZ). Results: Lesion diameter showed a modest correlation with Gleason grade (WP: τB = 0.21, p < 0.0001; PZ: τB = 0.13, p = 0.02; TZ: τB = 0.32, p = 0.001), and association with CS cancer detection (WP: AUC = 0.63, PZ: AUC = 0.59, TZ: AUC = 0.74). Empirically derived thresholds (WP: 14 mm, PZ: 13 mm, TZ: 16 mm) performed similarly to the current ≥ 15 mm standard. Lesion relative lesion diameter improved identification of CS cancers compared to lesion diameter alone (WP: τB = 0.30, PZ: τB = 0.24, TZ: τB = 0.42, all p < 0.0001). AUC also improved for WP and PZ lesions (WP: AUC = 0.70, PZ: AUC = 0.68, and TZ: AUC = 0.74). Conclusions: The current ≥ 15 mm diameter threshold is a reasonable delineator of PI-RADS category 4 and category 5 lesions in the absence of extraprostatic extension to predict CS cancers. Additionally, relative lesion diameter can improve identification of CS cancers and may serve as another option for distinguishing category 4 and 5 lesions.

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