Optical and Cross-Sectional Imaging Technologies for Bladder Cancer

  • Bernhard Kiss
  • Gautier Marcq
  • Joseph C. LiaoEmail author
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 175)


Optical and cross-sectional imaging plays critical roles in bladder cancer diagnostics. White light cystoscopy remains the cornerstone for the management of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. In the last decade, significant technological improvements have been introduced for optical imaging to address the known shortcomings of white light cystoscopy. Enhanced cystoscopy modalities such as blue light cystoscopy and narrowband imaging survey a large area of the urothelium and provide contrast enhancement to detect additional lesions and decrease cancer recurrence. However, higher false-positive rates accompany the gain of sensitivity. Optical biopsy technologies, including confocal laser endomicroscopy and optical coherence tomography, provide cellular resolutions combined with subsurface imaging, thereby enabling optical-based cancer characterization, and may lead to real-time cancer grading and staging. Coupling of fluorescently labeled binding agents with optical imaging devices may translate into high molecular specificity, thus enabling visualization and characterization of biological processes at the molecular level. For cross-sectional imaging, upper urinary tract evaluation and assessment potential extravesical tumor extension and metastases are currently the primary roles, particularly for management of muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Multi-parametric MRI, including dynamic gadolinium-enhanced and diffusion-weighted sequences, has been investigated for primary bladder tumor detection. Ultrasmall superparamagnetic particles of iron oxide (USPIO) are a new class of contrast agents that increased the accuracy of lymph node imaging. Combination of multi-parametric MRI with positron emission tomography is on the horizon to improve accuracy rates for primary tumor diagnostics as well as lymph node evaluation. As these high-resolution optical and cross-sectional technologies emerge and develop, judicious assessment and validation await for their clinical integration toward improving the overall management of bladder cancer.


Bladder cancer Optical imaging Cross-sectional imaging Molecular imaging Enhanced cystoscopy Optical biopsy 



We thank Dharati Trivedi for her helpful assistance with editing the figures. Bernhard Kiss was funded by Swiss National Foundation (P300 PB 167793/1) and Bern Cancer League. Gautier Marcq was funded by Lille 2 University mobility grant.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Kiss
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gautier Marcq
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joseph C. Liao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of UrologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care SystemPalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.StanfordUSA

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