Prostate mechanical imaging: a new method for prostate assessment

Urology. 2008 Mar;71(3):425-9. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2007.11.021.


Objectives: To evaluate the ability of prostate mechanical imaging (PMI) technology to provide an objective and reproducible image and to assess the prostate nodularity.

Methods: We evaluated the PMI device developed by Artann Laboratories in a pilot clinical study. For the 168 patients (ages 44 to 94) who presented to an urologist for prostate evaluation, PMI-produced images and assessment of prostate size, shape, consistency/hardness, mobility, and nodularity were compared with digital rectal examination (DRE) findings. The PMI and DRE results were further tested for correlation against a transrectal ultrasound of the prostate (TRUS) guided biopsy for a subgroup of 21 patients with an elevated prostate-specific antigen level.

Results: In 84% of the cases, the PMI device was able to reconstruct three-dimensional (3D) and 2D cross-sectional images of the prostate. The PMI System and DRE pretests were able to determine malignant nodules in 10 and 6 patients, respectively, of the 13 patients with biopsy-confirmed malignant inclusions. The PMI System findings were consistent with all 8 biopsy negative cases, whereas the DRE had 1 abnormal reading for this group. The correlation between PMI and DRE detection of palpable nodularity was 81%, as indicated by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve. Estimates of the prostate size provided by PMI and DRE were statistically significantly correlated.

Conclusions: The PMI has the potential to enable a physician to obtain, examine, and store a 3D image of the prostate based on mechanical and geometrical characteristics of the gland and its internal structures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Urological / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Stress, Mechanical