Virtual CT cystoscopy: color mapping of bladder wall thickness

Invest Radiol. 2000 May;35(5):331-4. doi: 10.1097/00004424-200005000-00008.


Rationale and objectives: To improve the conspicuity of bladder tumors in a virtual environment, we developed an algorithm for color mapping the thickness of the bladder wall. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of this algorithm as a component of virtual CT cystoscopy.

Methods: Five subjects with a history of superficial transitional-cell carcinoma of the bladder underwent helical CT scanning after insufflation of the bladder with air. Source images were transformed into three-dimensional models, and the thickness of the bladder wall was demarcated by using a new computer algorithm and a fixed color scale. Results were compared with those obtained by conventional cystoscopy.

Results: Three tumors, one site of benign wall thickening, and normal wall thickness were correctly identified by using axial source images and virtual cystoscopy with color mapping.

Conclusions: Color mapping of bladder wall thickness is feasible and demonstrates both normal and thickened urothelium. Its value in identification of small or sessile tumors will require further trials.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Algorithms
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / diagnostic imaging*
  • Color
  • Cystoscopy / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*