Objectives. We investigated the association of transrectal color Doppler imaging (CDI) signal detection in localized prostate cancer with biologic behavior as assessed by tumor Gleason grade, seminal vesicle invasion, capsular and margin status, and actuarial biochemical freedom from relapse. Methods. From 1991 to 1996, transrectal ultrasound with CDI and biopsy was performed in 2718 men using a 7.0-MHz probe optimized to detect color-coded blood flow within the gland and along the capsular margin. Color flow was graded on a scale from 0 to 2+, with 0 and 1 + representing no detectable flow and normal flow, and 2+ indicating increased flow. Color flow maps were constructed in 47 men with clinically localized prostate cancer treated by radical prostatectomy (RP) and compared to their whole mount RP specimen step sections. Results. Color flow detected within the index tumor was graded as 2+ in 22 of 47 patients and 0 or 1 + in the remaining 25. Tumors graded 2+ correlated with higher Gleason grade, higher incidence of seminal vesicle invasion, and higher relapse rate, with only 11 of 22 patients disease free based on undetectable prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. In contrast, 24 of 25 patients with tumors graded 0 or 1 + are free of biochemical relapse with a median follow-up of 30.9 months. Patients with increased flow were 10.2 times more likely to relapse even after correction for other prognostic variables. In addition, tumors with 2+ capsular flow correlated with a higher incidence of nomorgan-confined disease. Conclusions. Color-coded Doppler flow within the tumor and overlying capsule appears to correlate with both tumor grade and stage, respectively. Detection and grading of color-coded flow within biopsy-proven cancers may identify patients with a high likelihood of biochemical relapse.
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