Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate normal bladder wall morphology in gadolinium-diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA)- enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging using an endorectal surface coil and to perform histological assessment of submucosal linear enhancement with experimental [14C]-gadolinium-tetraazacyclododecane-tetraacetic acid (Gd- DOTA) autoradiography. Methods and material: MR imaging of the bladder was performed using an endorectal coil in 13 consecutive patients with bladder carcinoma and T1-, T2-, and Gd-DTPA-enhanced spin-echo images of the bladder wall were compared. After injection of [14C]Gd-DOTA into a hamster, autoradiograms of the bladder wall were obtained and compared with serial histological sections. Results: The normal bladder wall appeared as a homogeneous layer of intermediate intensity on T1-weighted images. After administration of Gd-DTPA, the bladder wall was visualized as three layers: an inner thin layer of low intensity, a middle layer of marked enhancement, and a thick outer layer of intermediate intensity. The autoradiograms demonstrated dense accumulation of [14C]Gd-DOTA in the submucosal layer. Thus, the inner, middle, and outer layers corresponded to the mucosa, submucosa, and muscularis propria, respectively. The thickness of the bladder wall demonstrated on T2-weighted images was almost equal to that of the outer layer on enhanced T1-weighted images. Thus, T2-weighted images revealed only the muscle layer as an intermediate-intensity band. In the preliminary clinical study, MR imaging invariably showed accurate stages of the bladder carcinoma in 13 patients. Conclusion: In MR imaging of the normal bladder wall, the submucosa was strikingly enhanced after Gd-DTPA administration, separating the bladder wall into three layers. This may have a potential role in the staging of bladder tumors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging