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Revista argentina de radiología

versión On-line ISSN 1852-9992


BINDA, M.C et al. Optimization of the use of imaging in adrenal pathology (part 1). Rev. argent. radiol. [online]. 2013, vol.77, n.3. ISSN 1852-9992.

Objectives of training: The aim of this study is to propose an algorithm for the evaluation of adrenal lesions in order to arrive at the correct diagnosis in the shortest possible time. This method would favor the most appropriate therapeutic procedures for each pathology and may substantially modifi ed a given treatment. In spite of the fact that the structural features of lesions are generally non-specifi c, it is possible with imaging techniques, to establish compatible features which could help us differentiate benign from malignant lesions and with the contribution of the endocrinologist and the laboratory, to distinguish functional from non-functional ones. Topic revision: A retrospective evaluation was carried out from May 2009 to December 2011 on 157 patients with adrenal diseases, including 95 females and 61 males, from 33 to 78 years of age (mean age 55). The study protocol consisted of non-contrasted intravenous computed tomography, with lesion density measurement, followed by contrasted intravenous computed tomography and wash out time with lesion density determination in portal time and later at 15’ during wash out. Measurements and calculations were: adrenal lesion size, medium density and absolute and relative washing percentiles. Magnetic resonance and 18F-fl uorodesoxyglucose positron emission tomography was only performed on those patients who required these techniques. A comparison of the present results with those in the literature is included. Imaging fi ndings: Fifty-nine patients with non-functional adenoma were identifi ed (49 unilateral and 10 bilateral), 29 functional adenomas, 9 with bilateral hyperplasia, 4 myelolipomas (2 in a female patient with simple virilizing congenital adrenal hyperplasia), 2 cysts, 2 hematomas, 3 lymphomas (2 secondary and 1 primary bilateral), 30 metastases, 5 adrenocortical carcinomas, 12 pheochromocytomas,1 malignant pheochromocytoma, and 1 ganglioneuroma. Conclusion: The use of an appropriate study algorithm, with proper diagnostic tools, allows the correct characterization of adrenal lesions. Moreover, this approach prevents loss of time, a wrong diagnosis, excessive irradiation of the patient, and incorrect use of resources.

Palabras clave : Adrenal gland; Computed tomography; Magnetic resonance; 18F-fl uoro desoxiglucosa positron emission tomography.

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