Objectives. Magnetic resonance urography (MRU) is a new technique that uses heavily weighted T2 coronal images with fat suppression pulse. Urine appears white on MRU, resembling an intravenous urogram (IVU). Contrast agents are not necessary. This study describes the use of MRU in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with hematuria. Methods. One hundred six patients with microscopic or gross hematuria and 6 normal volunteers underwent MRU between 1992 and 1995. A modified, heavily weighted T2 technique with intravenous administration of furosemide and ureteral compression was used. Thirty-two patients had other imaging techniques as well for comparison. Results. MRU provided high-resolution images in almost all cases; 73 (69%) had a normal MRU. Significant findings in the 33 patients with abnormalities included renal cysts in 17 (51%), renal cell carcinoma in 6 (18%), transitional cell carcinoma in 5 (15%), ureteropelvic junction obstruction in 3 (9%), and stones causing obstruction in 6 (18%). Five patients with renal failure also had good visualization of the entire urinary tract. MRU was comparable to other imaging modalities except in identifying nonobstructing calculi. Conclusions. MRU provides an alternative to conventional imaging of the urinary tract, especially in those patients who have contraindications to ionizing radiation and contrast agents. Improvements in resolution, technique, and cost have to be addressed before it can be used regularly in urologic practice.
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