Inter- and intra-observer variability in prostate definition with tissue harmonic and brightness mode imaging

Gurpreet Kaur Sandhu, Peter Dunscombe, Tyler Meyer, Simon Pavamani, Rao Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: The objective of this study was to compare the relative utility of tissue harmonic (H) and brightness (B) transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) images of the prostate by studying interobserver and intraobserver variation in prostate delineation. Methods and Materials: Ten patients with early-stage disease were randomly selected. TRUS images of prostates were acquired using B and H modes. The prostates on all images were contoured by an experienced radiation oncologist (RO) and five equally trained observers. The observers were blinded to information regarding patient and imaging mode. The volumes of prostate glands and areas of midgland slices were calculated. Volumes contoured were compared among the observers and between observer group and RO. Contours on one patient were repeated five times by four observers to evaluate the intraobserver variability. Results: A one-sample Student t-test showed the volumes outlined by five observers are in agreement (p > 0.05) with the RO. Paired Student t-test showed prostate volumes (p = 0.008) and midgland areas (p = 0.006) with H mode were significantly smaller than that with B mode. Two-factor analysis of variances showed significant interobserver variability (p < 0.001) in prostate volumes and areas. Inter- and intraobserver consistency was quantified as the standard deviation of mean volumes and areas, and concordance indices. It was found that for small glands (≤35 cc) H mode provided greater interobserver consistency; however, for large glands (≥35 cc), B mode provided more consistent estimates. Conclusions: H mode provided superior inter- and intraobserver agreement in prostate volume definition for small to medium prostates. In large glands, H mode does not exhibit any additional advantage. Although harmonic imaging has not proven advantageous for all cases, its utilization seems to be judicious for small prostates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e9-e16
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Interobserver
  • Intraobserver
  • Prostate brachytherapy
  • Prostatic transrectal ultrasonography
  • Tissue harmonic imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Inter- and intra-observer variability in prostate definition with tissue harmonic and brightness mode imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this