Assessment of Intratumoral Micromorphology for Patients with Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Using Susceptibility-Weighted Imaging
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BACKGROUND: Multiple treatment options exist for the management of renal cell carcinomas. Preoperative evaluation of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CRCC) grades is important for deciding upon the appropriate method of therapy. We hypothesize that susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) is sensitive enough to detect intratumoral microvessles and microbleeding in renal cell carcinoma, which can be used to grade CRCC. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Retrospective reviews of 37 patients with pathologically proven CRCCs were evaluated. All patients underwent SWI examinations. The characteristics of intratumoral susceptibility signal intensity (ITSS) includes the likelihood of the presence of ITSS, morphology of ITSS, dominant structure of ITSS and ratio of ITSS area to tumor area, which were all assessed on SWI. The results were compared using the nonparametric Mann-Whitney test. RESULTS: ITSS was seen in all patients except 4 patients with low-grade CRCCs. There was no significant difference between low and high-grade CRCCs when looking at the likelihood of the presence of ITSS. There was a significant difference in the mean score of dominant structures between low and high-grade CRCCs. Specifically, more dominant vascular structures and less hemorrhage were seen in low-grade tumors (2.15±1.05) compared to high-grade tumors (1.27±0.47) (P<0.005). The ratio of ITSS area to tumor area was also significantly higher for the high-grade group (1.55±0.52) than that for the low-grade group (0.88±0.43) on SWI (P<0.005). CONCLUSION: SWI is useful for grading CRCCs.
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