Hematuria can signify serious disease such as bladder cancer, upper urinary tract urothelial cell carcinoma (UUT-UCC), renal cell cancer or urinary tract stones.
CT urography is a rapidly evolving technique made possible by recent advances in CT technology. CT urography is defined as CT examination of the kidneys, ureters and bladder with at least one series of images acquired during the excretory phase after intravenous contrast administration. The reasoning for using CT urography to investigate hematuria is based on its high diagnostic accuracy for urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC) and favorable comparison with other imaging techniques. The optimum diagnostic imaging strategy for patients with hematuria at high-risk for UCC involves the use of CT urography as a replacement for other imaging tests (ultrasonography, intravenous urography, or retrograde ureteropyelography) and as a triage test for cystoscopy, resulting in earlier diagnosis and improved prognosis of bladder cancer, UUT-UCC, renal cell cancer and stones. Current problems with CT urography for investigating hematuria might be solved with a formative educational program simulating clinical reporting to reduce reader error, and a new technique for image-guided biopsy of UUT-UCC detected by CT urography for histopathological confirmation of diagnosis and elimination of false-positive results. CT urography is recommended as the initial imaging test for hematuria in patients at high-risk for UCC.
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The Manor Hospital, Beech Road, Oxford OX3 7RP, UK.
Reference: Nat Rev Urol. 2012 Mar 13;9(4):218-26.