Use of transrectal ultrasound in follow-up of postradical prostatectomy.


The appearance of the prostatic fossa on transrectal ultrasound following radical retropubic prostatectomy (RRP) is described. Transrectal ultrasonography was performed on 25 patients with normal bone scans and pelvic computed tomography from three to ninety months after RRP using a biplane high frequency probe. The area of the vesicourethral anastomosis (VUA) was identified, its contour characterized, surrounding tissues described, and changes induced by pelvic muscle contraction recorded. In 16 of these patients who had abnormal postoperative serum prostate-specific antigen levels, digital and ultrasound-guided transrectal needle biopsies for local recurrence were done and compared. The VUA was identifiable in all patients as either a smoothly tapered narrowing usually correlating with the presence of continence or distorted or blunted profile which often correlated with absence of urinary continence. The VUA was surrounded almost invariably by hypoechoic soft tissue which was pathologically nonspecific on biopsy. An extrinsic impression on the anterior bladder wall was noted in 80 percent. There was no clear distinguishing ultrasound feature for biopsy-proved local recurrence. The apparent length of the apposed walls of the urethra suggests a urethral high pressure zone (UHPZ). This lengthened significantly with voluntary contraction of the pelvic floor muscles.


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