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Indian J Radiol Imaging. 2017 Apr-Jun; 27(2): 259–260.
PMCID: PMC5510328

Author reply


I read with interest, the article “Solid renal masses in adults” by Mittal et al.[1] I would like to add as well as reiterate certain practical points with respect to the same. As mentioned by the authors, fat containing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and angiomyolipomas (AML) are close differentials, especially in cases of lipid poor AML. Enhancement features on computed tomography (CT) are equivocal in differentiating these lesions. I would like to the recall the role of positron emission tomography (PET) CT in differentiating RCC and AML, as emphasized by Lin et al.[2] Of the 21 AMLs included in the study, none of them showed a maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of more than 1.98.[2] Kim et al., in their study, found that 25 of the 27 RCC had SUVmax of >3.06 ± 0.45.[3]

As mentioned by the authors, intrarenal transitional cell carcinomas (TCC) and central RCCs are very close differentials and distinguishing them in imaging practice is difficult but essential. Findings such as tumor epicenter in collecting system, focal filling defect in renal pelvis, renal shape preservation, absence of cystic areas/necrosis, homogeneous contrast enhancement, and extension toward pelviureteric junction are quite favorable towards diagnosis of TCC, as established by Raza et al.[4]

Ultrasound elastography also appears to have a role in distinguishing benign and malignant lesions. Onur et al., in their study involving 71 solid renal masses, recognized that the mean strain index value of malignant lesions was significantly higher than that of benign lesions.[5]

Renal pseudotumors, especially nodular compensatory hypertrophy, may be diagnosed unequivocally using non contrast magnetic resonance imaging with diffusion weighted images.[6,7] Goyal et al. found that none of the pseudotumors showed restricted diffusion; whereas restricted diffusion was seen in all the solid RCCs. Diffusion weighted imaging with apparent diffusion coefficient values is very helpful in lesion characterization, especially in the setting of chronic kidney disease.

Nevertheless, as emphasized by the Mittal et al., lesion characterization by imaging is definitely difficult in smaller masses <1.5 cm, necessitating close monitoring with follow-up imaging.

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1. Mittal MK, Sureka B. Solid renal masses in adults. Indian J Radiol Imaging. 2016;26:429–42. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
2. Lin CY, Chen HY, Ding HJ, Yen KY, Kao CH. FDG PET or PET/CT in Evaluation of Renal Angiomyolipoma. Korean J Radiol. 2013;14:337–42. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
3. Kim JS, Lim ST, Jeong YJ, Kim DW, Jeong HJ, Sohn MH. The characteristics of renal cell carcinoma in F-18 FDG PET/CT: Relation to TNM staging, grading and other renal malignant neoplasm. J Nucl Med. 2010;51:1269. [PubMed]
4. Raza SA, Sohaib SA, Sahdev A, Bharwani N, Heenan S, Verma H, et al. Centrally infiltrating renal masses on CT: Differentiating intrarenal transitional cell carcinoma from centrally located renal cell carcinoma. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2012;198:846–53. [PubMed]
5. Onur MR, Poyraz AK, Bozgeyik Z, Onur AR, Orhan I. Utility of semiquantitative strain elastography for differentiation between benign and malignant solid renal masses. J Ultrasound Med. 2015;34:639–47. [PubMed]
6. Indiran V. Magnetic resonance imaging as problem-solving tool in renal pseudotumor in chronic kidney disease: A case of nodular compensatory hypertrophy. Indian J Nephrol. 2016;26:470–1. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
7. Goyal A, Sharma R, Bhalla AS, Gamanagatti S, Seth A. Pseudotumours in chronic kidney disease: Can diffusion-weighted MRI rule out malignancy. Eur J Radiol. 2013;82:1870–6. [PubMed]

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