Distinguishing pheochromocytoma from adrenal adenoma by using modified computed tomography criteria
Abdom Radiol (NY) . 2021 Mar;46(3):1082-1090. doi: 10.1007/s00261-020-02764-4. Epub 2020 Sep 20.
Sohi Kang, Young Lyun Oh, Sung Yoon Park
Purpose: To investigate the performance of modified criteria to distinguish pheochromocytoma from adrenal adenoma by using adrenal protocol computed tomography (CT).
Methods: We retrospectively included consecutive 199 patients who underwent adrenal CT and surgically proven pheochromocytoma (n = 66) or adenoma (n = 133). Two independent radiologists analyzed two CT criteria for pheochromocytoma. Conventional criteria were as follows: (a) lesion attenuation on unenhanced CT > 10 Hounsfield unit (HU); (b) absolute percentage washout < 60%; and (c) relative percentage washout < 40%. Modified criteria were as follows: (a) conventional criteria or (b) one of the following findings: (i) lesion attenuation on unenhanced CT ≥ 40 HU, (ii) 1-min enhanced CT ≥ 160 HU, (iii) 15-min enhanced CT ≥ 70 HU, , or (iv) intralesional cystic degeneration seen on both 1-min and 15-min enhanced CT. We analyzed area under the curve (AUC) and inter-reader agreement.
Results: Proportion of pheochromocytoma was 33.2% (66/199). AUC of modified criteria was consistently higher than that of conventional criteria for distinguishing pheochromocytoma from adenoma (reader 1, 0.864 versus 0.746 for raw data set and 0.865 versus 0.746 for internal validation set; reader 2, 0.872 versus 0.758 for raw data set and 0.872 versus 0.757 for internal validation set) (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). Inter-reader agreement was excellent in interpreting any criteria (weighted kappa > 0.800).
Conclusion: Our modified criteria seem to improve diagnostic performance of adrenal CT in distinguishing pheochromocytoma from adrenal adenoma.
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