European Radiology

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 129–133 | Cite as

Primary staging of urinary bladder carcinoma: the role of MRI and a comparison with CT

  • J. O. Barentsz
  • G. J. Jager
  • J. A. Witjes
  • J. H. J. Ruijs
Oncology Imaging Review Article


Since the introduction, pelvic MRI has been considered the best non-invasive technique for primary staging of urinary bladder cancer. Before using MRI an understanding of normal and pathological MR images of the urinary bladder is essential. This review therefore describes the MR anatomy of the urinary bladder as well as the appearances of carcinoma. MRI plays an important clinical role in staging the primary tumour. In superficial tumours, clinical staging, which includes transurethral biopsy, is the best technique. For invasive tumours, MRI is superior to other techniques such as CT scanning, transvesical ultrasonography and clinical staging. A limitation of both MRI and CT scanning is their inability to recognize minimal tumour growth in the muscle layer of the bladder wall, or to differentiate between post-transurethral resection oedema and tumour. Therefore, in all patients with urinary bladder cancer staging should preferably start with MRI followed by clinical staging. Unfortunately, however, because of the high cost of this strategy, MRI has to be reserved for staging deeply invasive and superficial poorly differentiated tumours.

Key words

MRI Staging Urinary bladder cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. O. Barentsz
    • 1
  • G. J. Jager
    • 1
  • J. A. Witjes
    • 2
  • J. H. J. Ruijs
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity Hospital NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of UrologyUniversity Hospital NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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