Adrenal masses: characterization with T1-weighted MR imaging.
The ability of a T1-weighted spin-echo magnetic resonance (MR) sequence to allow differentiation of benign from malignant adrenal masses at 0.5 T was investigated in 28 patients with 35 adrenal masses. All nine lesions with an adrenal mass-liver signal intensity ratio of 0.71 or less were metastases, and all 15 with a ratio of 0.78 or more were adenomas. Eleven masses (31%)--including six adenomas, three metastases, a pheochromocytoma, and a neuroblastoma--had ratios between these values. Nine of ten masses with adrenal mass-fat intensity ratios of 0.35 or less were metastases, and all 12 with ratios of 0.42 or more were benign. Eleven masses (31%), four malignant and one benign, had ratios between these values. The ratios for two masses could not be calculated due to lack of fat. The specificity of T1-weighted MR imaging in differentiating benign from malignant adrenal masses appears similar to that reported for T2-weighted imaging. However, significant overlap occurred, as has also been reported for T2-weighted imaging. While both imaging sequences may help distinguish benign from malignant adrenal masses in some cases, biopsy is still necessary when an accurate histologic diagnosis is essential.
Chezmar, JL; Robbins, SM; Nelson, RC; Steinberg, HV; Torres, WE; Bernardino, ME
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