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    Advances in medical imaging with current cross-section modalities enable non-invasive characterization of adrenal lesions. Computed tomography (CT) provides characterization with its non-contrast and wash-out features. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is helpful in further characterization using chemical shift imaging (CSI) and MR spectroscopy. For differentiating between benign and malignant masses, positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is useful with its qualitative analysis, as well as its ability to detect the presence of extra-adrenal metastases in cancer patients. The work-up for an indeterminate adrenal mass includes evaluation with a non-contrast CT. If a lesion is less than 10 Hounsfield Units on a non-contrast CT, it is a benign lipid-rich adenoma and no further work-up is required. For the indeterminate adrenal masses, a lipid-poor adenoma can be differentiated from a metastasis utilizing CT wash-out features. Also, MRI is beneficial with CSI and MR spectroscopy. If a mass remains indeterminate, PET imaging may be of use, in which benign lesions demonstrate low or no fluorodeoxyglucose activity. In the few cases in which adrenal lesions remain indeterminate, surgical sampling such as percutaneous biopsy can be performed.


    Brinda Rao Korivi, Khaled M Elsayes. Cross-sectional imaging work-up of adrenal masses. World journal of radiology. 2013 Mar 28;5(3):88-97

    PMID: 23671745

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