MRI of female urethra and periurethral pathologies

Malak Itani, Ania Kielar, Christine O. Menias, Manjiri K. Dighe, Venkat Surabhi, Srinivasa R. Prasad, Ryan O’Malley, Kiran Gangadhar, Neeraj Lalwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Introduction and hypothesis: Accurate diagnosis of a wide spectrum of urethral/periurethral pathologies in women remains challenging due to its anatomical location and nonspecific clinical presentations. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as the modality of choice for diagnosing female urethral and periurethral pathologies due to its multiplanar scanning capability, superior soft tissue differentiation, noninvasive nature, and overall excellent contrast resolution. Methods: In this narrative review, we describe the use of MRI to visualize the female urethra and periurethral pathologies. Results: MRI can confidently characterize lesions into cystic or solid, provide a more succinct differential diagnosis, and in some cases provide a specific and accurate diagnosis, enabling surgeons to prepare a roadmap before operative procedure. Moreover, functional MRI can be useful to assess dynamic disorders such as urethral hypermobility. Conclusions: We provide a comprehensive review of normal MR anatomy of the female urethra, as well as the MR features of practically important urethral and periurethral lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Urogynecology Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Female urethra
  • MRI
  • Periurethral pathologies
  • Skene or periurethral gland cysts
  • Urethral carcinoma
  • Urethral diverticulum


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