AJR. American journal of roentgenology

Is Ultrasound Useful for Further Evaluation of Homogeneously Hyperattenuating Renal Lesions Detected on CT?

PMID 28678573


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the ability of ultrasound (US) to characterize hyperattenuating cysts detected as indeterminate hyperattenuating renal lesions on unenhanced and single phase enhanced CT. A total of 107 consecutive homogeneously hyperattenuating renal lesions underwent gray-scale and Doppler US at our institution between 2010 and 2013. Two radiologists who were unaware of the final diagnosis retrospectively evaluated US images for visibility and diagnosis (simple cyst, intermediate complexity cyst, cystic or solid mass showing internal flow on Doppler US, or indeterminate). A third radiologist assessed lesion size, location, and distance to skin on CT and US. US visibility was compared using chi-square and independent t tests. Consensus US interpretation was compared with reference standard diagnoses, and accuracy for diagnosis of hyperattenuating cysts was tabulated. Mean lesion size ± SD was 20 ± 16 mm (range, 6-96 mm) and mean distance to skin on CT was 62 ± 25 mm (range, 18-125 mm). In all, 89.7% (96/107) of the lesions were visible on US, including all lesions that were 15 mm or larger. Nonvisible lesions were smaller than visible ones (10.0 ± 3.6 mm vs 20.7 ± 16.3 mm, p = 0.03) regardless of location (p > 0.05). CT overestimated lesion distance to skin compared with US (46.6 ± 18.6 mm, p < 0.001). Final diagnoses for US visible lesions (n = 96) were hyperattenuating cyst (n = 66), Bosniak IIF cyst (n = 13), and cystic or solid neoplasm (n = 15); two patients were lost to follow-up. Of the 66 hyperattenuating cysts, 54 (81.8%) appeared as simple cysts on US with sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of hyperattenuating cyst of 81.8% (95% CI, 75.6-84.3%) and 92.9% (95% CI, 78.1-98.7%), respectively. The other 12 (18.2%) hyperattenuating cysts appeared complex. Two of the 13 Bosniak IIF lesions were incorrectly classified as simple cysts with US. Including the 11 (10%) nonvisible lesions reduced sensitivity and specificity for diagnosis of hyperattenuating cyst to 73.0% (95% CI, 66.9-75.9%) and 89.7% (95% CI, 74.2-97.2%), respectively. US can further characterize hyperattenuating cysts presenting as indeterminate hyperattenuating renal lesions on CT in the majority of cases.