Correlation of color Doppler flow in the prostate with tissue microvascularity

Edmund Louvar, Peter J. Littrup, Albert Goldstein, Lelia Yu, Wael Sakr, David Grignon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The pathophysiology of increased color Doppler (CD) flow has not previously been addressed in histologic evaluations of microvascular parameters. In this study, the authors attempted to define the differences between benign and malignant biopsy cores found in regions of the prostate with normal and high CD flow. METHODS. Forty patients were retrospectively chosen for CD histologic comparison, each of whom had a core from a sextant biopsy with the following characteristics: malignant tissue with distinct increased CD flow (n = 11), malignant tissue with normal CD flow (n = 10), benign tissue with distinctly increased CD flow (n = 9), or benign tissue with normal CD flow (n = 10). All biopsy cores were stained with factor VIII- related antigen to identify microvasculature and to determine the number of microvessels per square millimeter (mm2) in an average cross-sectional area of microvessels, the percentage of tissue occupied by microvasculature, and the Gleason score. RESULTS. In biopsies of benign tissue, high CD flow was associated with greater numbers (P < 0.025) of vessels of similar size than in normal flow benign biopsies. Biopsies of malignant tissue contained significantly greater numbers (P < 0.01) of much smaller vessels (P < 0.0005) than biopsies of benign tissue. In biopsies of malignant tissue, no significant differences in microvasculature parameters were noted between high and normal CD flow, yet biopsies with high CD flow had average Gleason score of 6.7 compared with only 5.9 for biopsies with normal CD flow (P < 0.025). CONCLUSIONS. Increased CD flow in biopsies of benign tissue was correlated with a greater number of vessels/mm2, yet all biopsies of malignant tissue had more vessels/mm2 than those of benign tissue. Increased CD flow in biopsies of malignant tissue cannot be explained by standard microvasculature analysis but significantly guides biopsies to regions with a greater Gleason score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-140
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 1998


  • Color Doppler
  • Histology
  • Microvasculature
  • Prostate carcinoma
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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