MR imaging in the characterization of small renal masses.

Research paper by Jonathon M JM Willatt, Hero K HK Hussain, Suzanne S Chong, Mariam M Kappil, Shadi F SF Azar, Peter S PS Liu, Julie A JA Ruma, Khaled M KM Elsayes

Indexed on: 13 Mar '14Published on: 13 Mar '14Published in: Abdominal imaging


The aim of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of MR imaging for the characterization of small (<2 cm) renal lesions described as indeterminate on prior US or CT.Sixty-three small renal masses in 51 patients considered indeterminate on prior ultrasound or CT scans were included in the study. A retrospective evaluation of the examinations was performed independently by two body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) radiologists who were unaware of the final diagnosis. A 3-point confidence scale (1: benign, 2: indeterminate, and 3: malignant) was established to determine the level of suspicion for malignancy. Interobserver agreement was determined with a weighted kappa statistic. The diagnosis was verified by imaging follow-up of at least 24 months (mean 60 months) in 53 lesions and by pathology in 10 lesions.MRI detected all eight malignancies in the series. There were eight malignant lesions and two benign lesions among those with pathologic follow-up. No interval growth or evidence of malignancy in the remaining 53 lesions was found for a minimum of 24 months by repeat imaging. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of MRI for differentiating benign from malignant small renal lesions were 100% (62.9-100%, 95% CI), 94.5% (84.9-98.8%, 95% CI), 72.7% (39.1-93.6%, 95% CI), and 100% (93.1-100%, 95% CI), respectively. The kappa value for interobserver agreement was 0.77 (95% CI 0.59-0.96, p-value <0.001).MR imaging is an effective method for characterizing small (<2 cm) renal masses found to be indeterminate by US or CT.