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Radiographics. 2001 Sep-Oct;21(5):1169-85.

MR imaging of the male and female urethra.

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Department of Radiology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 50 Ilwon-dong, Kangnam-ku, Seoul 135-710, Korea.


Conventional radiographic contrast material-enhanced studies (eg, retrograde urethrography [RUG], voiding cystourethrography [VCUG], double-balloon catheter urethrography) and ultrasonography are useful in evaluating the anatomy of the urethra but are limited in demonstrating anatomic derangement of adjacent structures. Since the anatomic details of both the urethra and periurethral tissues can be evaluated noninvasively with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, this modality can be used as an adjunctive tool for evaluation of urethral abnormalities. In patients with congenital anomalies, MR imaging is reserved for cases of intersex anomalies or complex genitourinary anomalies, in which evaluation of internal organs is essential. MR imaging may demonstrate diverticula that are not seen on radiographic contrast-enhanced studies, including VCUG, RUG, or double-balloon catheter study. In cases of inflammation, MR imaging can demonstrate not only inflammatory infiltration around the urethra but also the presence of a periurethral abscess or sinus tract. In cases of trauma, MR imaging is helpful in assessing the presence and extent of anterior or posterior urethral injury and predicting the occurrence of complications. At MR imaging, a fistula can be seen as a direct communicating channel with an adjacent organ. In patients with urethral tumors, the major role of MR imaging is in local staging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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