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Radiol Bras. 2014 Nov-Dec;47(6):368-73. doi: 10.1590/0100-3984.2013.1797.

Bosniak classification for complex renal cysts: history and critical analysis.

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Fellow PhD degree, Associate Professor, Department of Medical Practice, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto da Universidade de São Paulo (FMRP-USP) - Centro de Ciências da Imagem e Física Médica (CCIFM), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.
PhD, Associate Professor of Radiology, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging - University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CA, USA.


in English, Portuguese

The Bosniak classification for renal cysts was developed in the late 1980s in an attempt to standardize the description and management of complex cystic renal lesions. Alterations were made to such a classification in the 1990s and, the last one, in 2005. Currently, five categories of cystic renal lesions are defined - namely, I, II, II-F, III and IV -, according to their degree of complexity and likelihood of malignancy. Despite being initially described for computed tomography, this classification has been also utilized with some advantages also for magnetic resonance imaging. The present article reviews the different phases of this classification, its diagnostic efficacy and the most controversial features of its use.


Bosniak; Computed tomography; Magnetic resonance imaging; Renal cysts

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