WHAT IS PROSTATE ULTRASONOGRAPHY (PROSTATE ECHOGRAM, PROSTATE ULTRASOUND) TEST?
Evaluation of the prostate gland by the creation of an oscilloscopic picture from the echoes of high-frequency sound waves passing through the anterior rectal wall or through the urethra over the pelvic area (acoustic imaging, endosonography). The time required for the ultrasonic beam to be reflected back to the transducer from differing densities of tissue is converted by a computer to an electrical impulse displayed on an oscilloscopic screen to create a three-dimensional picture of the pelvic contents. Because of the risk of sepsis and trauma from transurethral ultrasonography, the transrectal route is preferred. For staging prostate cancer, transrectal ultrasonography costs less than magnetic resonance imaging, with comparable or superior accuracy. This technique may help detect prostate lesions before they become large enough to palpate. Ultrasound techniques are still inferior to prostate biopsy in sensitivity for diagnosing prostate cancer.