(HealthDay News) — The environmental impact of prostate MRI and biopsies may be considerable, according to a study published in European Urology.
For this study, researchers compared environmental emissions across 5 clinical scenarios: multiparametric MRI (mpMRI) of the prostate with targeted and systematic biopsies; mpMRI with targeted biopsy cores only; systematic biopsy without MRI; mpMRI with systematic biopsy; and biparametric MRI (bpMRI) with targeted and systematic biopsies.
The researchers estimated that 80.7 kg carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) are generated by mpMRI with targeted and systematic biopsies, 76.2 kg CO2e are generated by mpMRI with targeted biopsy cores only, 36.2 kg CO2e are generated by systematic 12-core biopsy without mpMRI, 78.9 CO2e are generated by mpMRI with systematic biopsy, and 70.5 kg CO2e are generated by bpMRI with targeted and systematic biopsies.
The largest contributor was energy, with an estimated 38.1 kg CO2e, followed by staff travel and supply production (20.7 and 11.4 kg CO2e, respectively).
The researchers calculated that 8.1 million kg CO2e could be avoided by performing 100,000 fewer unnecessary biopsies, which is equivalent to 4.1 million liters of gasoline consumed. The use of prostate MRI to triage prostate biopsy and guide targeted biopsy cores would save the equivalent of 1.4 million kg CO2 emissions per 100,000 patients, which is equivalent to 700,000 liters of gas consumed.
“Prostate MRI and prostate biopsy procedures for the diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer contribute a substantial environmental footprint,” the researchers wrote. “Our findings indicate opportunities to reduce health care pollution by increasing the use of evidence-based approaches for prostate cancer screening and biopsy selection.”
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