Adrenal Imaging Features Predict Malignancy Better than Tumor Size.
INTRODUCTION: In adrenal tumors, size ≥ 4 cm has been an indication for adrenalectomy due to concern for malignancy. We compared mass size to imaging features (ImF) for accuracy in diagnosing adrenal malignancy. METHODS: Data were retrieved for 112 consecutive patients who had adrenalectomy from January 2011 to August 2014. ImF was classified as nonbenign if HU > 10 on unenhanced CT scan or if loss of signal on out-of-phase imaging was absent on chemical-shift MRI. Indications for resection included hormonal hypersecretion, nonbenign ImF, and/or size ≥ 4 cm. RESULTS: Of 113 resected adrenals, 37 % were functional. Histologic malignancy occurred in 18 % (20/113) and included 3 adrenocortical carcinomas (ACC), 1 epithelioid liposarcoma, 1 lymphoma, 1 malignant nerve sheath tumor, and 14 adrenal metastases. Patients with malignancies were older (mean age, 60 ± 13 vs. 51 ± 14 years, p = 0.01). Malignant tumors were larger on preoperative imaging (mean 5.3 ± 3.2 vs. 3.9 ± 2.4 cm, p = 0.03). All 20 malignant masses had nonbenign ImF. In predicting malignancy, the sensitivity, specificity, NPV, and PPV of nonbenign ImF was 100, 57, 100, and 33 %, respectively. Size ≥ 4 cm was less predictive with sensitivity, specificity, NPV, and PPV of 55, 61, 86, and 23 %, respectively. If size ≥ 4 cm had been used as the sole criterion for surgery, 45 % of malignancies (9/20) would have been missed including 8 metastases and an ACC. CONCLUSIONS: In resected adrenal tumors, the presence of nonbenign ImF is more sensitive for malignancy than mass size (100 vs. 55 %) with equivalent specificity. Regardless of mass size, adrenalectomy should be strongly considered when non-benign ImF are present.
Yoo, JY; McCoy, KL; Carty, SE; Stang, MT; Armstrong, MJ; Howell, GM; Bartlett, DL; Tublin, ME; Yip, L
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)