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Three-dimensional ultrasound (3-D US) is a non-invasive method of producing whole volume images of solid structures. Early work on prostate imaging identified several advantages over 2-D imaging with a good ability to detect intraprostatic lesions. Several 3-D transrectal ultrasound (3-D TRUS) systems are now available for prostate imaging. Initial work using gray scale ultrasound appears promising with reported overall staging accuracies of up to 94%. These results were favourable when compared to other modalities for local staging of prostate cancer. Several adjuncts to 3-D gray scale TRUS have been investigated. A greater sensitivity for cancer detection has been achieved with the addition of power colour Doppler and contrast agents. Further clinical applications for 3-D TRUS include assessing placement of brachytherapy seeds and for cyroablation techniques. Computer enhancement with image registration has shown that 3-D US images can be manipulated to derive more information. Although the results of gray scale imaging alone or with adjuncts and post processing appear promising, these techniques remain largely experimental.

Original publication




Journal article


World J Urol

Publication Date





339 - 345


Equipment Design, Humans, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, Male, Neoplasm Staging, Prostatic Neoplasms, Sensitivity and Specificity, Ultrasonography