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Radiology. 2009 Apr;251(1):112-21. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2511080873.

Urinary bladder cancer: diffusion-weighted MR imaging--accuracy for diagnosing T stage and estimating histologic grade.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, 1 Kawasumi Mizuho-cho, Mizuho-ku, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan.



To prospectively evaluate the ability of diffusion-weighted (DW) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to be used to determine the T stage of bladder cancer and to measure the correlation between the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and histologic grade.


This study was approved by the local institutional review board. All patients gave written informed consent. Forty patients with a total of 52 bladder tumors underwent MR imaging that included DW imaging. Histologic grade was determined for all tumors. Two radiologists interpreted four image sets (ie, T2-weighted images alone, T2-weighted plus DW images, T2-weighted plus dynamic contrast agent-enhanced images, all three image types together). Conventional criteria were used for interpreting T2-weighted and contrast-enhanced images. For DW images, new staging criterion developed on the basis of the hypothesis that tumors, submucosal tissue, and muscles show high, low, and intermediate signal intensity, respectively, was used. The McNemar test was used to examine differences in accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. Differences in the performance were analyzed by comparing the areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (A(z) values). To compare ADCs between three histologic grades, analysis of variance was used.


The overall accuracy of T stage diagnosis was 67% for T2-weighted images alone, 88% for T2-weighted plus DW images, 79% for T2-weighted plus contrast-enhanced images, and 92% for all three image types together. The overall accuracy, specificity, and A(z) for diagnosing T2 or higher stages were significantly improved by adding DW images (P < .01). The mean ADC of G3 tumors was significantly lower than that of G1 and G2 tumors (P < .01).


DW images provided useful information for evaluating the T stage of bladder cancer, particularly in differentiating T1 or lower tumors from T2 or higher tumors. The ADC may in part predict the histologic grade of bladder cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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