Novel trends in transrectal ultrasound imaging of prostate gland carcinoma
Correspondence: Tomasz Szopiński, Department of Urology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Grzegórzecka 18, 31-531 Cracow, Poland, e-mail: email@example.com
Carcinoma of the prostate gland is the most common neoplasm in men. Its treatment depends on multiple factors among which local staging plays a significant role. The basic method is transrectal ultrasound imaging. This examination enables imaging of the prostate gland and its abnormalities, but it also allows ultrasound-guided biopsies to be conducted. A conventional gray-scale ultrasound examination enables assessment of the size, echostructure and outlines of the anatomic capsule, but in many cases, neoplastic lesions cannot be observed. For this reason, new sonographic techniques are implemented in order to facilitate detectability of cancer. The usage of contrast agents during transrectal ultrasound examination must be emphasized since, in combination with color Doppler, it facilitates detection of cancerous lesions by visualizing flow which is not observable without contrast enhancement. Elastography, in turn, is a different solution. It uses the differences in tissue elasticity between a neoplastic region and normal prostatic parenchyma that surrounds it. This technique facilitates detection of lesions irrespective of their echogenicity and thereby supplements conventional transrectal examinations. However, the size of the prostate gland and its relatively far location from the transducer may constitute limitations to the effectiveness of elastography. Moreover, the manner of conducting such an examination depends on the examiner and his or her subjective assessment. Another method, which falls within the novel, popular trend of combining imaging methods, is fusion of magnetic resonance imaging and transrectal sonography. The application of multidimensional magnetic resonance imaging, which is currently believed to be the best method for prostate cancer staging, in combination with the availability of a TRUS examination and the possibility of monitoring biopsies in real-time sonography is a promising alternative, but it is associated with higher costs and longer duration of the examination. This paper presents the most important novel trends in transrectal imaging in prostate cancer diagnosis based on the review of the articles available in the PubMed base and published after 2010.