Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Clin Radiol. 2005 Jun;60(6):665-73; discussion 663-4.

Tuberose sclerosis complex: analysis of growth rates aids differentiation of renal cell carcinoma from atypical or minimal-fat-containing angiomyolipoma.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, St George's Hospital, London, UK. uday.patel@stgeorges.nhs.uk



To study the radiological characteristics of renal masses in individuals with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) using serial CT, and to examine how renal cell carcinoma (RCC) may be differentiated from indeterminate cysts or masses.


This was a retrospective study of 12 cases of TSC in which dedicated renal CT followed after US had demonstrated cystic or sonographically unusual renal masses. The CT density of all masses was measured and the masses categorized as simple cysts, complex cysts, angiomyolipomas or indeterminate solid masses. Subjects were maintained on regular follow-up with repeat CT or MRI and interval renal US. Indeterminate masses that showed rapid growth were considered suspicious for renal cell carcinoma and biopsy or nephrectomy followed.


Comparative data were available for a median of 4 years. In each case the renal masses were multiple and bilateral; mean mass diameter was 3.6 cm. Among a total of 206 masses, 18 were simple cysts and 3 were complex cysts. Of the complex cysts, 1 proved to be an angiomyolipoma on histology and the other 2 showed no growth. Of the solid masses, 133 were typical angiomyolipomas (AMLs) and 52 were indeterminate. On follow-up, only 3 indeterminate masses showed rapid growth (>0.5 cm/year), of which only 1 proved to be an RCC on biopsy. The other 2 were minimal-fat AMLs, and the remainder of the masses showed no or slow growth.


Many renal masses associated with TSC are radiologically indeterminate. A growth threshold of >0.5 cm/year identified the only RCC in this study (0.5% of all masses). Yearly radiological follow-up of indeterminate renal masses is recommended for individuals with TSC.

Comment in

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk