MR imaging features of benign retroperitoneal paragangliomas and schwannomas
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Background: To determine whether MRI feature analysis can differentiate benign retroperitoneal extra-adrenal paragangliomas and schwannomas. Methods: The MRI features of 50 patients with confirmed benign retroperitoneal extra-adrenal paragangliomas and schwannomas were retrospectively reviewed by two radiologists blinded to the histopathologic diagnosis. These features were compared between two types of tumours by use of the Mann-Whitney test and binary logistic regression. The patients’ clinical characteristics were reviewed. Results: Analysis of MRI images from 50 patients revealed no significant differences in the quantitative MRI features of lesion size, ratio of diameter and apparent diffusion coefficient. There were significant differences in the qualitative MRI features of location, necrosis, cysts and degree of tumour enhancement for two readers, with no significant differences in the other qualitative MRI features between these tumours. The combination of necrosis with degree of tumour enhancement during the arterial phase increased the probability that a retroperitoneal mass would represent retroperitoneal extra-adrenal paraganglioma as opposed to schwannoma. Conclusion: We have presented the largest series of MRI features of both benign retroperitoneal extra-adrenal paragangliomas and schwannomas. Some MRI features assist in the differentiation between these tumours, with imaging features consisting of necrosis and avid enhancement during the arterial phase, suggestive of retroperitoneal extra-adrenal paragangliomas
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