, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 483-489
Date: 25 Mar 2006

Bladder tumors: virtual MR cystoscopy

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Virtual cystoscopy is a promising new technique based on computer-simulated rendering of the inner surface of the urinary bladder using volumetric magnetic resonance (MR) imaging data, thus enabling maneuvers that normally are not possible with conventional cystoscopy. Due to several distinct advantages over conventional cystoscopy such as minimal invasiveness, evaluation of the urethral orifice from a cranial point of view and an opportunity to observe diverticula formations and the inner urethral space, gadolinium-enhanced MR cystoscopy has a great potential for competing with conventional cystoscopy under some clinical circumstances. The recent improvement in MR scanners has significantly facilitated virtual cystoscopic evaluation of the urinary bladder lumen by MR imaging. Volumetric data associated with powerful postprocessing procedures allow imaging of the inner urinary bladder surface with excellent detail. In this article, imaging techniques and clinical applications of gadolinium-enhanced virtual MR cystoscopy are presented.