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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000 Oct;175(4):1161-8.

Endorectal color doppler sonography and endorectal MR imaging features of nonpalpable prostate cancer: correlation with radical prostatectomy findings.

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Service de Radiologie, Hôpital Necker, 149 rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France. Service d'Urologie, Hôpital Cochin, 24 Rue du Faubourg saint Jacques, 75014 Paris, France. Service d'Urologie, Hôpital Necker, 75015 Paris, France. Service.



The purpose of this study was to describe endorectal sonography and color Doppler sonography features of nonpalpable prostate cancer and to assess the value of endorectal MR imaging for the preoperative local staging of these tumors.


Ninety-four patients with nonsuspicious findings on digital rectal examination and a mean prostate-specific antigen level of 16.3 +/-10 ng/mL (median, 13 ng/mL) underwent endorectal sonography, color Doppler sonography, sextant endorectal sonographically guided biopsy, and endorectal MR imaging before radical prostatectomy.


Tumors were visible in 48 cases and not visible in 46. The mean Gleason biopsy score, the frequency of tumors involving three sextants or more of the prostate gland at biopsies, and the frequency of stage pT3 tumors were significantly higher in patients with visible tumors (5.9+/-0.9, 42%, and 37.5%) than in those with invisible tumors (5.4+/-1.1, 17%, and 17%). The 42 hypervascular tumors were hypoechoic in every case and had a higher rate of Gleason tumor grades 4 and 5 at biopsy than did the 52 hypovascular tumors (33% versus 11.5%). Six hypovascular tumors (6/52, 11.5%, two visible) had an insignificant tumor volume. Established extraprostatic tumor spread was detected on MR imaging in six of 18 cases (sensitivity, 33%; specificity, 100%0, all of which had the following four features: hypervascularity, prostate-specific antigen level greater than 20 ng/mL, three or more sextants of the gland having positive findings at biopsy, and seminal vesicle invasion.


Endorectal sonography and color Doppler sonography are useful to differentiate low-risk invisible and hypovascular tumors from high-risk visible and hypervascular tumors. However, MR imaging has a poor sensitivity for the detection of extraprostatic spread and is accurate only in a minority of highly selected high-risk hypervascular tumors.

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