Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Assessment of Urinary Bladder Carcinoma

Introduction

Urinary bladder carcinoma is more common in males than females, with a ratio of approximately 4:1, and is predominantly seen in the sixth and seventh decades of life [55, 56].

Determination of local tumor staging and detection of nodal or bone metastases is extremely important [55, 57, 58]. Appropriate use of the different techniques is crucial for accurate assessment of prognosis and for the development of appropriate treatment planning. As clinical staging is not reliable for determining tumor extension beyond the bladder wall, imaging techniques are needed [59].

Among the non-invasive imaging modalities, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the modality of choice for imaging the urinary bladder cancer. Multi-planer capabilities and superior soft tissue make this technique a valuable tool for imaging the urinary bladder. In addition, recent advances, such as high resolution fast imaging sequences and the use of pelvic phased array coils and contrast agents, further improve the imaging quality and thus the diagnostic accuracy for staging urinary bladder carcinoma [55, 60].

In Part II, the general features of urinary bladder cancer, the role of imaging and especially of MRI will be reviewed.

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