AJR. American journal of roentgenology

Qualitative and quantitative MDCT features for differentiating clear cell renal cell carcinoma from other solid renal cortical masses.

PMID 25341166


The purpose of this study was to differentiate clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) from other solid renal masses on four-phase MDCT. Our study cohort included all pathologically proven solid renal masses that underwent pretreatment four-phase MDCT at our institution from 2001 to 2012. Both retrospective qualitative analysis (blinded dual-radiologist evaluation of morphologic features: enhancement pattern, lesion contour, neovascularity, and calcification) and quantitative analysis (mean absolute and relative attenuation and changes in attenuation across phases) were performed. ANOVA with post-hoc analysis, Pearson chi-square tests, and ROC analysis were used. One hundred fifty-six consecutive patients (99 men, 57 women) with a mean age of 62.7 years (range, 26-91 years) had 165 solid renal masses (median size, 3.0 cm): 86 clear cell RCCs, 36 papillary RCCs, 10 chromophobe RCCs, 23 oncocytomas, and 10 lipid-poor angiomyolipomas. Kappa for interradiologist agreement regarding morphologic features was 0.33-0.76. There were significant associations between histologic subtype and enhancement pattern (p < 0.001), lesion contour (p < 0.014), and neovascularity (p < 0.001). Clear cell RCC had the highest mean relative corticomedullary attenuation (p < 0.02). Clear cell RCC had greater deenhancement than oncocytoma (p < 0.001); deenhancement less than 50 HU or relative corticomedullary attenuation greater than 0% differentiated clear cell RCC from oncocytoma with a positive predictive value of 90%. Lipid-poor angiomyolipoma had the highest mean absolute unenhanced attenuation (p < 0.01); absolute unenhanced attenuation greater than 45 HU and relative corticomedullary attenuation less than 10% differentiated lipid-poor angiomyolipoma from clear cell RCC with a negative predictive value of 97%. Four-phase MDCT renal attenuation profiles enable differentiation of clear cell RCC from other solid renal cortical masses, most notably papillary RCC and lipid-poor angiomyolipoma.