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Radiology. 2001 May;219(2):432-9.

Local recurrence after radical prostatectomy: correlation of US features with prostatic fossa biopsy findings.

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  • 1Scott Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine and the Methodist Hospital, 6560 Fannin, Ste 2100, Houston, TX 77030, USA.



To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of transrectal ultrasonography (US) in the detection of local recurrence following radical prostatectomy.


Ninety-nine patients with biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy were evaluated at transrectal US and prostatic fossa biopsy. Location of suspected recurrence at transrectal US and clinical features, such as prostate-specific antigen levels and digital rectal examination findings, were correlated with biopsy results.


Forty-one (41%) of 99 cases of local recurrence were detected. The percentage of sites of lesions identified at transrectal US and corresponding positive biopsy rates were as follows: the urethrovesical anastomotic area, 56% and 61%; bladder neck, 26% and 54%; retrovesical space, 4% and 100%; and more than one site, 14% and 71%. By comparing transrectal US and digital rectal examination, the sensitivities were 76% and 44% (P =.007), while specificities were 67% and 91% (P =.004), respectively. An increased positive biopsy rate with increasing prostate-specific antigen levels was noted (P =.04).


Transrectal US is more sensitive but less specific than digital rectal examination in the detection of local recurrence. Biopsy findings in more than half of the suspected lesions at the urethrovesical anastomotic area and bladder neck were positive. Lesions in the retrovesical space, although less frequently encountered, had a high likelihood of representing cancer recurrence.

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