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Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Urography at 3T: Clinical Feasibility

Childs, David D. MD*; Leyendecker, John R. MD*; Gianini, John MD; Hall, Craig MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January/February 2013 - Volume 37 - Issue 1 - p 29–36
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182711fd9
Abdominal Imaging

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of performing diagnostic-quality contrast-enhanced excretory magnetic resonance urography (eMRU) at 3T, examining both image quality and diagnostic accuracy for a range of urinary tract abnormalities.

Methods: The diuretic-enhanced 3T eMRUs of 37 patients were reviewed to assess for the diagnostic conspicuity of urinary tract abnormalities, extent of urinary tract visualization on excretory images, and presence and severity of image artifacts.

Results: Excretory images allowed greater than 75% visualization in 90.8% of renal collecting systems, 90.8% of ureters, and 82.3% of bladders. Common artifacts included susceptibility (21.3%), contrast mixing (21.3%), patient motion (20.4%), signal inhomogeneity (19.4%), and peristaltic motion (17.6%). Severe artifacts occurred in 21.6% of studies. Five of 8 urothelial neoplasms were detected, with 1 false-positive lesion in the bladder. Urolithiasis was correctly diagnosed in 7 of 9 patients.

Conclusions: Although image artifacts can hamper eMRU at 3T, initial results are promising for evaluation of the urothelium.

From the *Department of Radiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC; †Radiology Associates of Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach, FL; and ‡Piedmont Urological Associates, High Point, NC.

Received for publication June 23, 2012; accepted August 27, 2012.

Reprints: David D. Childs, MD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Medical Center Blvd, Winston-Salem, NC 27157 (e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.