Prostate screening with mpMRI

When a man is suspected of having prostate cancer, as a result of a rise in PSA, positive digital rectal exam or urinary symptoms, we at Imaging Healthcare Specialists believe in “imaging before biopsy.” This means getting a multi-parametric MRI (mpMRI) scan of the prostate to identify areas that might be suspicious for clinically significant cancer.

The American Urological Association now recommends mpMRI before a prostate biopsy. If low grade prostate cancer is detected, mpMRI can also be used for “active surveillance” to monitor the progression of the disease.

Patient preparation:

  • Purchase a bottle of Magnesium Citrate at pharmacy, one size and drink at 4:00pm night before.

  • NPO from midnight on or 6 hours prior, but drink plenty of water or  Gatorade

Prostate MRIs are done at our GT, Encinitas and Tri City locations. This can be covered by insurance but we also offer it at a cash price of $575.

Not all prostate MRI screening programs are the same

IHS is the most experienced provider in San Diego when it comes to prostate MRI. Our state-of-the art equipment and software are optimized for this test. Through our partnership with, we are the only regional imaging provider to use OnQ Prostate. This advanced technology—supported with artificial intelligence (AI)—provides valuable information that helps our doctors to differentiate between clinically significant, aggressive cancer and less threatening, slower-growing cancer.

Prostate MRI
Doctor explaining Prostate MRI

The path to early detection

In addition, our technologists have been specially trained to use advanced protocols when imaging patients, and our doctors work closely with urologists in the community to ensure these exams are performed in the context of patient history and other health concerns. The goal of the prostate MRI screening program at IHS is to help men achieve early detection of life-threatening cancer while helping them avoid an unnecessary biopsy and/or overtreatment.

Patient testimonial:
How prostate MRI works.

IHS patient Michael, accompanied by our own Dr. Ross Schwartzberg, talks about his experience with Prostate MRI.

Patient testimonial:
Avoid unnecessary biopsies.

Hear Dr. K talk about how a pervious Prostate MRI and subsequent biopsy misdiagnosed his cancer, and how our own Dr. Ross Schwartzberg realized there was a bigger issue and helped get Dr. K the help he needed.

OnQ Prostate

We use OnQ Prostate technology for all prostate MRIs performed at our centers because it results in fewer unnecessary prostate biopsies, and improves the accuracy of biopsies that are performed. Learn more about OnQ Prostate and how it is used at IHS.