International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 169-175

First online:

Digital rectal examination in a simulated environment using sweeping palpation and mechanical localization

  • Yeongjin KimAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST
  • , Bummo AhnAffiliated withThe Simulation Group, Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology, Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School
  • , Youngjin NaAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST
  • , Taeyoung ShinAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Urological Science Institute
  • , Koonho RhaAffiliated withDepartment of Urology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Urological Science Institute
  • , Jung KimAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST Email author 

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Computerized palpation systems have been studied for the quantitative characterization of prostate properties. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of mechanical tumor localization maps by estimating correlation with pathological maps. A total of 120 indentations were performed on 10 specimens by using a sweeping palpation system in simulated environment conditions. Suspicious tumor lesions from the mechanical localization were compared to those of the pathological maps. The concordance rate between the mechanical localization maps and pathological maps was 81.7% (98/120). The positive predictive value (PPV) and the negative predictive value (NPV) of the proposed localization system were 78.6% (59/75) and 86.7% (39/45), respectively. Based on these data, the suspicious tumor lesions of mechanical localization maps were in close agreement with those from the pathological maps. The findings suggest that the high compatibility and detection rate of prostate tumor could be enhanced if computerized palpation and the conventional diagnosis are used synergistically. This study may contribute to technological progress in overcoming diagnostic limitations, which include many complications from digital rectal examination (DRE) and transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guided needle biopsy.


Prostate cancer Mechanical diagnosis Mechanical property map