3D visualization, analysis, and treatment of the prostate using trans-urethral ultrasound

David R. Holmes, Brian J. Davis, Charles J. Bruce, Richard A. Robb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In the year 2000, it is estimated that over 20,000 men underwent transperineal interstitial permanent prostate brachytherapy (TIPPB) for treatment of prostate cancer. Trans-urethral ultrasound (TUUS) is a new interactive, real-time 3D imaging method that may be effective in therapy-guidance during and after TIPPB. TUUS provides higher resolution than trans-rectal ultrasound (TRUS). TUUS can be used to accurately localize radioactive seeds and therefore contribute to more accurate determination of radiation dose distribution throughout the tissue after the completion of the procedure, similar to information currently provided by expensive and offline CT scans. A TUUS catheter can be used to acquire 2D section images or 3D volume images for detailed analyses of the prostate and associated tissue. Initial development of TUUS imaging was carried out on an ultrasound-equivalent prostate phantom with cylindrical dummy radiation sources. This was followed by preliminary studies in animals and then in patients. Both CT and TRUS data were acquired in these studies for comparative purposes. Segmentation of the prostate capsule and radioactive seeds was carried out using several semi-automated 3D algorithms and image processing techniques. Presentation of the data to the clinician is provided by a variety of complementary 2D and 3D display methods. In comparison with the CT data, TUUS data provided both greater spatial resolution and better soft tissue differentiation. In comparison to the TRUS data, TUUS data provided greater resolution and better seed localization. Combining these advantages suggests the possibility of TUUS becoming the exclusive imaging method in prostate cancer brachytherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-349
Number of pages11
JournalComputerized Medical Imaging and Graphics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2003


  • Brachytherapy
  • Prostate imaging
  • Prostate neoplasms/(radiotherapy)
  • Trans-urethral ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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