Purpose: To evaluate the use of dual-phase three-dimensional magnetic resonance (MR) angiography in the preoperative staging of renal cancer.
Materials and methods: MR angiography was performed in 18 patients before performance of partial (n = 7), radical (n = 10), or laparoscopic (n = 1) nephrectomy to treat renal cancer. Dynamic, three-dimensional MR angiograms were obtained with gadoteridol enhancement, breath holding, and a three-dimensional spoiled gradient-echo sequence. Images were obtained at 15-second intervals to achieve opacification of arteries and veins. Source, maximum intensity projection, and multiplanar reconstruction images were evaluated. Imaging results were compared with surgical findings.
Results: Renal arterial phase MR angiograms depicted 30 of 31 (97%) surgically confirmed renal arteries, with one false-positive result (an artery that arose from an early-branching single main renal artery, interpreted as a separate accessory artery). Renal venous phase MR angiograms depicted all seven instances of renal vein involvement, including extension to the inferior vena cava in two patients. Collateral vessels around the tumor, including prominent gonadal veins in three patients, were demonstrated. Additional findings included adenopathy and adrenal and pulmonary metastases.
Conclusion: Dual-phase MR angiography of the kidney may be a useful technique in depicting renal vessels before nephrectomy.