Background: Elastography is a diagnostic imaging technique that evaluates the hardness of a lesion. It is expected to become a new diagnostic modality for prostate cancer. The aim of this study was to examine the usefulness of elastography in the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Methods: A total of 29 patients with untreated, histologically proven prostate cancer were examined using an elastographic imaging technique. The patient was scanned in the dorsosacral position and the prostate was manually compressed with a transrectal ultrasonic probe. The echo signals from inside the tissue were measured before and after the tissue compression and an elastogram was generated by spatially differentiation of the displacement distribution. Results: Elastography depicted the cancer lesion as a harder tissue than the surrounding normal prostatic tissue. Elastography successfully detected 93% (27 patients) of the untreated prostate cancer lesions. Detection of cancer lesions using elastography was significantly higher than by digital rectal examination (59%; 17 patients) and transrectal ultrasonography (55%; 16 patients). Conclusion: Elastography has great potential as a useful modality for diagnosis of prostate cancer. Differentiation between cancerous and normal tissues can be expected to become more accurate as a result of technical advances in the quantification of tissue hardness.
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