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The evaluation of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is routinely performed using the multimodality imaging approach, including ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET). Ultrasonography is the most frequently used imaging modality for the initial diagnosis of renal masses. The modality of choice for the characterization of the renal mass is multiphasic CT. Recent advances in CT technology have led to its widespread use as a powerful tool for preoperative planning, reducing the need for catheter angiography for the evaluation of vascular invasion. CT is also the standard imaging modality for staging and follow-up. MRI serves as a problem-solving tool in selected cases of undefined renal lesions. Newer MRI techniques, such as arterial spin labeling and diffusion-weighted imaging, have the potential to characterize renal lesions without contrast media, but these techniques warrant further investigation. PET may be a useful tool for evaluating patients with suspected metastatic disease, but it has modest sensitivity in the diagnosis and staging of RCC. The newer radiotracers may increase the accuracy of PET for RCC diagnosis and staging. In summary, the main imaging modality used for the characterization, staging, and surveillance of RCC is multiphasic CT. Other imaging modalities, such as MRI and PET, are used for selected indications.


© Copyright 2021 Morshid et al.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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medical student

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Radiology Commons



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