Prostate Biopsy Sampling
How many samples are taken in a prostate biopsy?
A sextant or 6-core biopsy scheme used to be the standard approach where 6 samples are taken systematically from the prostate. The 6 core samples included one each from the base, mid-gland, and apex on either side.
The currently recommended scheme for biopsy is the extended-pattern biopsy which involves taking 12 core samples systematically. In addition, further samples are taken from any lesion that is detected upon a digital rectal examination or ultrasound.
A saturation biopsy scheme (only when indicated) involves taking 30-50 core specimens. Seminal vesicles also may be included in the biopsy in some high risk patients.