Common Abdominal Imaging Studies

Abdominal imaging studies performed by the experts at UCSF often have critical implications for patients undergoing complex procedures for:

CT colonography 3D images showing polyps.


Advanced CT and MRI are used to evaluate potential organ donors for transplants.  The UCSF transplant service is a national leader in renal and liver transplantation and consistently surpasses national averages for survival rates. UCSF performs a greater volume of transplants than all other centers in Northern California and is recognized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services as a “Center of Excellence.

Small Bowel Disorders

CT and MR enterography are diagnostic tools used to evaluate small bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease as well as for overall evaluation of the small bowel wall and lumen.

Urinary Problems

CT and MR urography are used to evaluate kidney stones, renal cysts or masses, urinary tract infections, urinary system trauma, and blockage of urine drainage. Cross sectional urographic studies provide images of the anatomy of the urinary tract—the kidneys, intra-renal collecting systems, ureters, and bladder—and allow patients with urinary system symptoms such as blood in the urine to be fully evaluated. MR urography can evaluate the urinary tract without exposing patients to radiation and provides more functional information than CT.

Gallbladder and Related Problems

MR and CT cholangiography are imaging techniques for examining the biliary system, which includes the gallbladder and bile ducts within and outside of the liver. UCSF is a pioneer in the use of cholangiographic dye to better delineate both the anatomy and function of the biliary tract.

Prostate Cancer

UCSF is a pioneer in multi-parametric prostate MRI. A particular strength is our ability to develop highly advanced (anatomic, metabolic, perfusion and diffusion) imaging techniques and apply them clinically for superior localization and staging of individual patients with prostate cancer.  These techniques improve treatment selection and monitoring. We also provide MR-guided procedures that allow for high yield targeted biopsies and focal therapy of the prostate. MR-guided biopsies result in fewer needle insertions and a higher detection rate compared to conventional ultrasound-guided biopsies.  MR-guided therapies such as high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) can treat focal regions of cancer within the prostate while reducing the risk of significant complications resulting from more radical therapy.

Fibroid Treatments

MRgFUS which means MR-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (and may also be called HIFU, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a new alternative to invasive surgical and catheter-based treatments of uterine fibroids and other growths.  UCSF is one of only a few centers in the nation using MR guidance to focus concentrated ultrasound wave energy to destroy targets of tissue deep beneath the skin without the need for surgical incisions or radiation for fibroid treatments.  Learn more

Colorectal Polyps

CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy) is a noninvasive screening exam for colorectal polyps.  Patients tolerate this screening test better than traditional colonoscopy, and CT colonography occasionally identifies serious conditions outside the colon, such as abdominal aortic aneurysms or kidney cancers, which conventional colonoscopy would not find.  Learn more