Comparison of mid-lobe versus lateral systematic sextant biopsies in the detection of prostate cancer

Martha Kennedy Terris, Eric M. Wallen, Thomas A. Stamey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Objective:Systematic sextant biopsies are a powerful tool in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Interpretation of the histopathologic results of these biopsies plays a central role in treatment decisions. This biopsy approach was originally described as sampling the prostate in the mid-lobe, parasagittal plane at the apex, mid-gland, and base, bilaterally. Morphometric analysis of prostate specimens has revealed that most clinically significant cancers are mainly located in the posterolateral aspect of the gland, not the mid-lobe. We sought to determine if cancer detection could be improved by obtaining more laterally placed biopsies. Materials and Methods:Forty-one patients underwent transrectal ultrasound with mid-lobe sextant as well as lateral sextant biopsies. Biopsy specimens were evaluated for Gleason grade and length of cancer present in each core. The mid-lobe and lateral biopsy results were then compared. Results:Thirteen of 41 patients (31.7%) were found to have no cancer on either biopsy set. Cancer was detected by both the mid-lobe and the lateral biopsies in 19 patients (46.3%). In 6 patients (14.6%), only the lateral biopsies revealed cancer, and in 3 patients (7.3%), only the mid-lobe biopsies revealed cancer. Conclusions:Laterally-placed systematic sextant biopsies may yield an improved diagnosis rate in patients with palpable nodularity in the lateral aspect of the prostate, patients without any palpable abnormalities but with elevated PSA levels, and in those patients undergoing repeat biopsies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalUrologia Internationalis
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Biopsy
  • Prostatic neoplasms
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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