Japanese Journal of Radiology

, Volume 37, Issue 12, pp 832–840 | Cite as

Renal pelvic and ureteral wall thickening in renal cell carcinoma: prevalence, cause, and clinical significance

  • Kotaro Yoshida
  • Mami Hamaoka
  • Satoshi KobayashiEmail author
  • Junichi Matsumoto
  • Dai Inoue
  • Norihide Yoneda
  • Toshifumi Gabata
Original Article



This study was performed to characterize renal pelvic and ureteral wall thickening (PUWT) in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients, including prevalence, cause, and detailed radiological findings based on contrast-enhanced CT, and to correlate these features with corresponding pathological findings.

Materials and methods

152 patients pathologically diagnosed with RCC by surgery were included. Two radiologists retrospectively evaluated the presence of PUWT and the radiological characteristics based on CT. Relationships among clinical characteristics, CT findings, and PUWT were evaluated. Pathological findings of PUWT were also investigated.


The prevalence of RCC-related PUWT was 10% (N = 15). PUWT was frequently observed in cases with advanced TNM stage. Tumor thrombus, sinus extent, and peritumoral neovascularity were significantly more frequent in cases with PUWT. PUWT was observed at the pelvis or from the pelvis to the upper ureter. Fourteen of 15 cases in which the pelvic/ureteral wall was pathologically investigated did not show any pathological abnormalities.


The prevalence of PUWT was 10% and most cases were thought to be caused by temporary vascular dilatation in the pelvis and ureter, which is a secondary condition caused by hypervascular RCC, and not a direct result of tumor invasion.


Renal pelvic wall thickening Ureteral wall thickening Renal cell carcinoma CT 



Renal cell carcinoma


Urinary collecting system invasion


Renal pelvic and ureteral wall thickening



We would like to thank Dr. Masaru Obokata for his statistical support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any relevant conflict of interest or industry support related to this project.

Ethical statement

This study had institutional review board approval and informed consent was waived.


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Copyright information

© Japan Radiological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyKanazawa University Graduate School of MedicineKanazawaJapan

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