Purpose: To evaluate the role of retrograde urethrography in treatment planning for salvage external beam radiotherapy in patients with increasing prostate-specific antigen levels after radical prostatectomy.
Methods and Materials: From July 1988 to December 2002, 173 consecutive patients received external beam radiotherapy for increasing prostate-specific antigen levels after radical prostatectomy. All 173 simulation films were reviewed, and retrograde urethrography was performed in 148 patients (86%). The distance between the line connecting the lower poles of the ischial tuberosities and site of abrupt narrowing of contrast material was measured in all 148 patients. This distance was compared with that measured in 148 consecutive patients with intact prostates who had retrograde urethrography while undergoing treatment planning for definitive radiotherapy.
Results: The mean (median) distance from the line connecting the lower poles of the ischial tuberosities to the abrupt narrowing seen in the urethrogram in patients with increasing prostate-specific antigen levels was 1.54cm (1.50cm) compared with 1.73cm (1.80cm) in those with intact prostates (p = 0.0145).
Conclusion: Retrograde urethrography is important in treatment planning for salvage radiotherapy of the prostate bed after radical prostatectomy to adequately treat the apex of the prostate bed.