Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is most commonly diagnosed as an incidental finding on cross-sectional imaging and represents a significant clinical challenge. Although most patients have a surgically curable lesion at the time of diagnosis, the variability in the biologic behavior of the different histologic subtypes and tumor grade of RCC, together with the increasing array of management options, creates uncertainty for the optimal clinical approach to individual patients. State-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides a comprehensive assessment of renal lesions that includes multiple forms of tissue contrast as well as functional parameters, which in turn provides information that helps to address this dilemma. In this article, we review this evolving and increasingly comprehensive role of MRI in the detection, characterization, perioperative evaluation, and assessment of the treatment response of renal neoplasms. We emphasize the ability of the imaging "phenotype" of renal masses on MRI to help predict the histologic subtype, grade, and clinical behavior of RCC.
- clear-cell renal cell carcinoma
- papillary renal cell carcinoma
- renal cell carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging