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Multiphasic contrast-enhanced MRI: Single-slice versus volumetric quantification of tumor enhancement for the assessment of renal clear-cell carcinoma fuhrman grade




To assess the association between clear-cell carcinoma pathology grade at nephrectomy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tumor enhancement.

Materials and Methods:

The Institutional Review Board approved this retrospective study and waived the informed consent requirement. In all, 32 patients underwent multiphase contrast-enhanced MRI prior to nephrectomy. MRI tumor enhancement was measured using two approaches: 1) the most enhancing portion of the tumor on a single slice and 2) volumetric analysis of enhancement in the entire tumor. Associations between pathological grade, tumor size, and enhancement were evaluated using the Kruskal–Wallis test and generalized logistic regression models.


No significant association between pathology grade and enhancement was found when measurements were made on a single slice. When measured in the entire tumor, significant associations were found between higher pathology grades and lower mean, median, top 10%, top 25%, and top 50% tumor enhancement (P < 0.001–0.002). On multivariate analysis the association between grade and enhancement remained significant (P = 0.041–0.043), but tumor size did not make an additional contribution beyond tumor enhancement alone in differentiating between tumor grades.


There is significant association between tumor grade and enhancement, but only when measured in the entire tumor and not on the most enhancing portion on a single slice. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013;37:1160–1167. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.