Send to

Choose Destination
Radiology. 2009 Feb;250(2):474-81. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2502080302. Epub 2008 Nov 26.

Distinguishing adrenal adenomas from nonadenomas: combined use of diagnostic parameters of unenhanced and short 5-minute dynamic enhanced CT protocol.

Author information

Department of Radiology, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima, Japan.



To retrospectively examine the diagnostic values of individual parameters obtained from unenhanced and 35-second and 5-minute contrast material-enhanced (enhanced) computed tomography (CT) in distinguishing adenomas, particularly lipid-poor adenomas, from nonadenomas and to determine the best diagnostic method by using these parameters.


This retrospective study had institutional review board approval; the need for informed consent was waived. The study population consisted of 61 patients (20 men and 41 women; mean age, 58 years) with 68 adrenal masses (53 adenomas and 15 nonadenomas). In each patient, unenhanced CT was followed by 35-second and 5-minute enhanced CT. Adenomas were classified as 30 lipid-rich (<or=10 HU) and 23 lipid-poor (>10 HU) adenomas by using unenhanced attenuation. The diagnostic parameters were tumor size, unenhanced attenuation, 35-second and 5-minute enhanced attenuation, wash-in and washout attenuation, percentage enhancement washout ratio (PEW), and relative PEW (RPEW). The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for diagnosing adenomas were calculated by using a threshold level of each parameter determined by the least sum of false-positive and false-negative cases and a combination of the threshold levels with 100% specificity.


The best results were obtained by using a combination of the threshold levels with 100% (15 of 15) specificity (presence of at least one of the following criteria for diagnosing adenomas: unenhanced attenuation of <or=19 HU, 5-minute attenuation of <or=50 HU, PEW of >or=45%, and RPEW of >or=31%). Sensitivity was 94% (50 of 53) or 87% (20 of 23) and accuracy was 96% (65 of 68) or 92% (35 of 38) for diagnosing total adrenal adenomas or lipid-poor adenomas, respectively.


Combining the diagnostic parameters of the CT protocol can yield diagnostic results comparable to those with previously reported longer dynamic enhanced CT protocols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center