Validation of canine prostate volumetric measurements in computed tomography determined by the slice addition technique using the Amira program
BACKGROUND:Prostatic diseases are common and mostly associated with enlargement of the accessory gland. Thus, determining the prostate size has become a main criterion for evaluating prostate health status. Computed tomography (CT) is recommended as a beneficial tool for evaluating prostate size, morphology and surrounding tissues. The purpose of this study was to establish an accurate procedure for volume estimation and afterwards evaluate the prostate volume in CT. Data of 95 dogs were analysed (58 male intact, 37 male neutered) using the slice addition technique with the Amira program. Accuracy of volumetric measurements by CT was validated by comparing them with those of phantoms of known volume. Patients were grouped according to age (< 4 yrs., 4-8 yrs., > 8 yrs) and prostate morphology in CT (H = homogeneous, I = inhomogeneous, C = cystic). The length of the sixth lumbar vertebra was measured to relate prostate volume to body size. This ratio was generated to compare prostate volume between the groups, irrespective of body size (ratio volume = Rv). RESULTS:A high correlation between the CT-derived and phantom volume was found. Overall, the mean prostate volume was 58.6 cm3. The mean ratio volume was 1.3 in intact male dogs, this being significantly higher than in neutered dogs (0.7). The lowest ratio volume values were found in group H for intact (Rv = 0.9) and neutered dogs (Rv = 0.6), followed by group I (intact: Rv = 1.1; neutered: Rv = 0.7) and C (intact: Rv = 1.4; neutered: Rv = 0.8). The length of the sixth lumbar vertebra was well correlated with the prostate volume (intact: r = 0.63, p < 0.001; neutered: r = 0.48, p = 0.003), while age exhibited a correlation only in intact dogs (r = 0.52, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION:The present study is pioneering in applying a slice addition technique to volumetric measurements of the prostate gland in CT, resulting in a highly precise method. Volumetric measurements of the canine prostate gland in CT images provide information about the prostate structure, castration status, age and body size of the patients. Therefore, prostate volume is a relevant parameter for evaluating prostate health status.