Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 12, pp 3886–3892 | Cite as

The application of cinematic rendering to CT evaluation of upper tract urothelial tumors: principles and practice

  • Steven P. RoweEmail author
  • Linda C. Chu
  • Alexa R. Meyer
  • Michael A. Gorin
  • Elliot K. Fishman
Special Section: Urothelial Disease


Upper tract urothelial carcinoma (UTUC) is a relatively uncommon but aggressive genitourinary malignancy for which multi-phase contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) plays an important role in evaluation and staging. 3D imaging with maximum intensity projection (MIP) and volume-rendered (VR) images has been described as a useful means of evaluating UTUC. In this study, we describe the technique of a novel 3D methodology known as cinematic rendering (CR) and provide clinical examples of UTUC visualized with CR. CR utilizes a complex universal lighting model in order to create photorealistic images with improved detail and depth in comparison to MIP or VR images. In the case of UTUC, CR can be used in different contrast phases to show abnormally thickened and enhancing urothelium or filling defects in the renal collecting system or ureters in the excretory phase. CR images can also be manipulated in order to generate translucent views of the upper urinary tract in order to add conspicuity to intraluminal findings.


UTUC 3D Computed tomography CR 



No funding was received by the authors in relation to writing this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

EKF receives research support from Siemens and GE Healthcare and is a co-founder and stockholder in HipGraphics, Inc. The other authors have no relevant conflicts of interest to report.

Ethical approval

This manuscript does not detail a defined study and no ethical approval was necessary.

Informed consent

No patient data is included in this manuscript and informed consent was not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven P. Rowe
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Linda C. Chu
    • 1
  • Alexa R. Meyer
    • 2
  • Michael A. Gorin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elliot K. Fishman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute and Department of UrologyJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Division of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, The Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological ScienceJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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