Rationale and Objective:
To approach the concept of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging-monitored micturating cystourethrography (MRMCU) by using gadolinium-enhanced real-time MR fluoroscopy.
MRMCU was performed in 21 male patients (27–76 years) subsequent to gadolinium excretory MR urography. Patients were examined in supine position at 1.5 T. For MR fluoroscopy of the urethra during micturition, we used a T1-weighted single-slice gradient-echo sequence with continuous radial k-space acquisition. Image reconstruction was obtained with the sliding-window technique reaching a frame rate of 25/s. The image plane was guided interactively through the urethra, the bladder and the ureters without stopping the scan.
Two patients were unable to void in supine position. With MR fluoroscopy, the flow of gadolinium-enhanced urine through the urethra was visualized in 19 patients, in 14 of whom with complete demonstration of the urethral anatomy subdivided into 5 segments. Four urethral segments were identified in 1 patient, 3 segments in 2 patients, 2 segments in 3 patients, and 1 segment in 1 patient. MRMCU demonstrated changes in the urethral anatomy and the urine flow in 2 patients with a neobladder and in 1 patient with hypertrophy of the prostate. Subject to the limitation of antegrade gadolinium application, interactive MRMCU allowed to determine whether the ureters were enhanced by gadolinium or not.
Gadolinium-enhanced MR fluoroscopy using radial k-space acquisition has achieved complete demonstration of the segmental anatomy of the urethra in 74% of the male adult patients who were able to accomplish micturition. Although MR fluoroscopy was able to visualize the gadolinium-enhanced ureters, the current data do not permit to conclude that MRMCU can demonstrate vesicoureteral reflux, especially in children.