Imaging of renal and prostate carcinoma with refractive index radiology

Cheol Yong Yoon, Duck Je Sung, Ju Han Lee, Ae Ri Kim, Chil Whan Oh, Jung Ho Je, Byung Mook Weon, Seung Kwon Seol, Aram Pyun, Yeukuang Hwu, Giorgio Margaritondo, Kwan Joong Joo, Duck Ki Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Having better edge enhancement and penetrating power, refractive index radiology is suitable for the imaging of weakly absorbing objects such as tissue specimens. In this study the potential of refractive index radiology was evaluated for the imaging of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and prostate cancer (PCA). Methods: Specimens were cut in 3 mm and 4 μm thickness for X-ray radiology and hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining, respectively. Radiographic images of RCC and PCA were obtained using the synchrotron hard X-rays from the 7B2 beam-line of the Pohang Light Source (PLS). The imaging technique applied was phase-contrast radiology based on the refraction enhancement mechanism. The resulting radiographic images were analyzed in correlation with those of optical microscopy. Results: Using unmonochromatized hard X-rays, it was possible to obtain images with clear edge enhancement and relatively large field of view (6 cm × 6 cm). Even with overlapping signals from thick samples (more than 700-fold thicker than microscopic images), radiographic images clearly showed histological information of organelles in normal kidney such as glomeruli, tubules, and collecting ducts. Histological information of RCC including tumor subtypes and minute changes such as cystic degeneration could be identified without difficulty. The radiographic images of the prostate were comparable with those of low magnification optical microscopy, providing good visualization of normal microstructures such as adenoma, smooth muscle, and normal glands, or differentiation of tiny tumors from surrounding normal tissues. Conclusions: These results suggest the potential of refractive index radiology to provide a new way of imaging biological tissues with low absorption contrast such as RCC and PCA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-103
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Urology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb


  • Prostate cancer
  • Refractive index radiology
  • Renal cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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