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Keywords:

  • anatomy;
  • biopsy;
  • central zone;
  • prostate;
  • transition zone;
  • transperineal

Fine S W & Reuter V E (2012) Histopathology 60, 142–152

Anatomy of the prostate revisited: implications for prostate biopsy and zonal origins of prostate cancer

Over the past 25 years, our understanding of prostatic disease has evolved secondary to the increased detection, treatment and study of both benign and neoplastic prostatic lesions. The advent of aggressive prostate-specific antigen screening and standardization of extended transrectal needle biopsy protocols has resulted in significant stage migration and earlier detection of prostate cancers, a growing proportion of which are lower-volume posterior peripheral zone tumours. Consequently, an increased incidence of anterior-predominant prostate cancers has been observed. Given the histomorphological complexity of the prostate, these developments have necessitated a reconsideration of prostatic anatomy, biopsy strategies in the detection of anterior tumours and the determination and relevance of zonal origin in prostate cancer. This review will provide a contemporary update of these topics, while highlighting specific areas in which a keen understanding of prostatic histoanatomy may influence biopsy interpretation.