Real-time elastography accurately detects prostate cancer in men scheduled for radical prostatectomy, according to a report in the July BJU International.
"Elastography is a contrast-media-free technique, which allows for detection of suspicious areas in the outer gland," Dr. Leo Pallwein from Medical University Innsbruck, Austria told Reuters Health. "It has the potential to become a reliable screening tool in men with elevated PSA."
Dr. Pallwein and colleagues assessed the value of elastography for detecting prostate cancer in 15 men scheduled for radical prostatectomy.
Elastography detected 28 of 35 cancer foci (80% sensitivity), the authors report, but missed 7 foci, most of them in the inner gland or in the basal area of the outer gland.
The only four sites with false-positive findings were obtained in the first five patients, the investigators say, "while gaining experience with the technique."
There was no correlation between PSA levels, Gleason scores, and elastography results.
"Elastography needs some weeks to overcome the learning curve, but this technique can be helpful in detecting cancer without use of contrast agent," Dr. Pallwein said.
"Elastography is successfully used for cancer detection in the prostate, thyroid gland, breast, and pancreas," Dr. Pallwein explained. "Further technical developments can improve and establish this technique in the daily routine examination."
BJU International 2007;100:42-46.