how does the contrast enhancement measured in a split-bolus CTU correlate to histological staging?
BACKGROUND: Computed tomography urography (CTU) is used widely in the work-up of patients with symptoms of urinary tract lesions. Preoperative knowledge of whether a tumor is invasive or non-invasive is important for the choice of surgery. So far there are no studies about the distinction of invasive and non-invasive tumors in ureter and renal pelvis based on the enhancement measured with Hounsfield Units. PURPOSE: To examine the value of CTU using split-bolus technique to distinguish non-invasive from invasive urothelial carcinomas in the upper urinary tract. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Patients who underwent nephroureterectomy between 2006 and 2011 and who had split-bolus CTU prior to surgery were included. The images were available electronically. The attenuation values before and after administration of iodine-based contrast media were measured. The radiology, patient, and pathology records were reviewed. RESULTS: Of the 158 patients who underwent unilateral nephroureterectomy 69 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Histopathological examination revealed 31 patients with non-invasive and 38 with invasive urothelial carcinoma. Neither absolute attenuation nor change in attenuation values obtained at CTU could distinguish between invasive and non-invasive lesions. No patients had a CTU within the last year before the examination that resulted in surgery. CONCLUSION: A split-bolus CTU cannot distinguish between invasive and non-invasive urothelial tumors in the upper urinary tract, but the examination is useful to diagnose a tumor in the renal pelvis and the ureter.
Acta Radiologica, 2014, Vol 55, Issue 6, p. 761-768