Accuracy of digital rectal examination to diagnose prostate cancer confirmed by needle biopsy reports: A 3–year hospital-based study


  • Udoh EA
  • Akaiso OE
  • Ukpong AE



Accuracy, Digital rectal examination, Prostate biopsy reports


Background: Digital rectal examination (DRE) is an indispensable tool for provisional diagnosis of prostate diseases. When abnormal prostate examination findings are elicited, a diagnosis of prostate cancer (Pca) is usually entertained and further tests to confirm or rule out the presence of Pca demands histological examination of biopsied tissue. A combination of DRE findings and serum PSA increases the predictive value for Pca diagnosis. In this study, we evaluated the degree of accuracy of DRE to diagnose Pca confirmed by histology reports of biopsy specimens.

Materials and Methods: Two hundred and six (206) patients were studied over a period of three years. Information retrieved from their case notes were entered into a well-structured protocol for management of prostatic diseases. Analysis of variables collated was performed with the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. Frequency table was used to analyze categorical variables while descriptive statistics was used for continuous variables. Level of significance was set at P<.05.

Results: 206 patients were studied with mean age of 68.23±8.71 years ranging from 48 to 91 years. Men in the Pca group were older than those in the BPH group. Abnormal DRE was associated with high grade tumours, and high level of aggressive tumour characteristics by WHO grade group standard.

Conclusion: DRE has a high level of accuracy in predicting a diagnosis of Pca which was confirmed by histology reports especially in prostates with abnormal findings.