Background: To investigate the relationship between extracellular matrix parameters and texture of prostaticlesions evaluated by transrectal real-time tissue elastography (TRTE).
Methods: 120 patients suspicious forprostate cancer underwent TRTE. Targeted biopsies were carried out after 12-core systematic biopsy. Epitheliawere stained with hematoxylin-eosin, and Victoria blue and Ponceau S were used to stain elastic-collagen fibers,and picric acid-sirius red for visualization of collagen type I (Col1) and III (Col3). Smooth muscles were visualizedby immunohistochemistry. All image analyses were performed in a blind manner using Image Pro Plus 6.0, andthe area ratios of epithelium, elastic fibers, collagen fibers and Col1/Col3 were determined.
Results: 42 patientswith typical elastograms were included in the final data analysis. Significant differences were detected betweenthe benign and malignant groups in the area ratios of epithelium (P = 0.01), smooth muscles and Col1/Col3 (P= 0.04, P = 0.02, respectively). There were no significant differences in the area ratios of epithelium, smoothmuscle and elastic fibers between the stiff and soft lesion groups. The area ratio of Col1 was (0.05±0.03) in thestiff group, and (0.02±0.01) in the soft group (P= 0.00). However, the area ratio of Col3 was (0.03±0.02) in thestiff group, and (0.05±0.04) in the soft group (P = 0.16). Col1/Col3 in the stiff group (1.99±1.59) was greater thanin the soft group (0.71±0.64) (P = 0.01).
Conclusions: Tissue hardness of prostatic tumors was mainly dependenton the Col1 content, Col1/Col3 being higher in malignant than in benign lesions, so the prostate tissue texturecan be used as a target for distinguishing between the two with TRTE.