© 2016 Elsevier Inc. Optimized pretreatment staging of bladder urothelial carcinoma is essential in guiding appropriate treatment. This staging process relies heavily on tissue pathology from transurethral resection of bladder tumor as well as imaging for diagnosis of local, regional, nodal, or distant visceral spread. Accurate preoperative staging is critical for appropriate treatment decision making and patient counseling as these are based on the extent of disease involvement, largely classifying the cancer as having local, regional, or distant spread. Currently, the gold standard of transurethral resection of bladder tumor followed by computed tomography imaging with intravenous contrast provides excellent staging specificity in cases of more advanced bladder cancers with suspicion of spread; however, this often under stages patients that can lead to adverse oncologic outcomes in these patients undergoing radical cystectomy. Incorporation of novel imaging modalities including multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography imaging have shown promise in improving accuracy of staging for both local and distant disease in patients with bladder urothelial carcinoma.