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Invest Radiol. 2001 Sep;36(9):518-20.

Incidence of adrenal masses in patients referred for renal artery stenosis screening MR.

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Department of Radiology at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



Prior work has shown the efficacy of magnetic resonance (MR) in renal artery stenosis evaluation. The increasing role of renal artery stenosis in the differential diagnostic evaluation of hypertension raises the question of whether MR should be used as a screening modality. This project evaluated the additional potential benefits of MR by determining the incidence of adrenal masses in this selected population.


A 2-year retrospective study analysis of patients who failed to respond to antihypertensive medical management and were referred for renal MR for hypertension amassed 77 subjects ranging in age from 18 to 88 years. A masked analysis for adrenal masses was performed on this data set. Magnetic resonance techniques included T2-weighted turbo spin-echo (repetition time [TR] 2000-4000 ms, echo time [TE] 80-100 ms, turbo factor 2-16), T1-weighted spin-echo (TR 200-500 ms, TE 10-30 ms), gradient-echo time-of-flight (TR 26 ms, TE 6.9 ms, 40 degrees flip angle, 2 excitations), and dynamic gadopentetate dimeglumine-enhanced MR angiography (three-dimensional gradient recalled echo, TR 10 ms, TE 3 ms, 40 degrees flip angle, 1 excitation).


Thirty-three patients had renal artery disease, 44 had normal renal arteries, and 7 had adrenal masses. Forty-three percent of patients who underwent renal MR had disease of the renal arteries detected, and 9% of patients referred for MR had adrenal masses that would have been missed with scintigraphy and/or angiography, of which 57% were responsible for hypertension.


The ability to evaluate renal artery and adrenal anatomy globally can be useful, as exemplified in the current series, and the adrenals should be examined carefully in any renal MR in a hypertensive patient.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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