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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2016 Nov;207(5):1105-1111. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

Congenital Adrenal Neuroblastoma With and Without Cystic Change: Differentiating Features With an Emphasis on the of Value of Ultrasound.

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1 Department of Radiology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, 81 Ilwon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-710, Korea.



The purpose of this study was to compare the features of congenital adrenal neuroblastomas with and without cystic changes and to emphasize the value of ultrasound in the diagnostic evaluation of cystic congenital adrenal neuroblastoma.


A total of 41 patients with surgically confirmed congenital adrenal neuroblastoma were enrolled. We divided the patients into two groups according to presence or absence of cystic change in the tumor, as determined from the initial ultrasound findings. Clinical and laboratory findings, disease stage, and patient outcome were investigated with a statistical comparison between the two groups. The imaging findings for cystic congenital adrenal neuroblastoma were reviewed to compare the additional diagnostic value of CT and MRI when paired with ultrasound.


There were 22 patients (54%) in the group without cystic changes and 19 patients (46%) in the group with cystic changes. Prenatal detection and absence of metastasis were significantly more common in the cystic group than in the noncystic group (p < 0.05). Sensitivities of tumor marker levels were also significantly lower in the cystic group. Patient outcome was excellent, and there was no significant difference between the groups. With regard to imaging of cystic congenital adrenal neuroblastoma, in the 15 cases in which CT or MRI was paired with ultrasound, no additional diagnostic information was discerned with CT or MRI.


Nearly one-half of congenital adrenal neuroblastomas are cystic, and these tumors have clinical and laboratory features that distinguish them from noncystic congenital adrenal neuroblastoma. Diagnostic tests, including CT, MRI, and assessment of tumor markers, have low diagnostic value in the evaluation of cystic congenital adrenal neuroblastoma.


CT; congenital adrenal neuroblastoma; cystic neuroblastoma; neuroblastoma; ultrasound

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