MRI proves more sensitive than CT in detecting adrenal adenomas

May 06, 2004

MRI is better than unenhanced CT in evaluating adrenal adenomas (benign masses on the adrenal glands), a new study suggests.

"We studied 40 patients (with 42 adrenal masses) who had undergone both a chemical shift MRI and unenhanced CT, said Gary Israel, MD, assistant professor of radiology at New York University School of Medicine. Of the 42 adrenal masses, 13 could not be characterized as a lipid rich adenoma using unenhanced CT. However, MRI characterized eight of these 13 adrenal masses as adenomas, he said.

"Adrenal adenomas are common, and most of the time they don't really matter. However, if a patient has symptoms associated with an adrenal mass or has a history of cancer, we need to be able to accurately characterize these masses," said Dr. Israel. Most radiologists would probably say that chemical shift MRI and unenhanced CT are equivalent in characterizing adrenal adenomas, but this has not previously been thoroughly investigated, he said. This study suggests MRI is more sensitive, Dr. Israel said.

Dr. Israel will present the study on May 6 at the 2004 American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Miami Beach, FL.
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