Frequency of lipid-poor adrenal adenomas in magnetic resonance imaging examinations of the abdomen
Abstract Objective: To estimate the frequency of lipid-poor adenomas (LPAs) in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively investigated adrenal lesions on MRI examinations performed in a total of 2,014 patients between January 2016 and December 2017. After exclusions, the sample comprised 69 patients with 74 proven adenomas. Two readers (reader 1 and reader 2) evaluated lesion size, laterality, homogeneity, signal drop on out-of-phase (OP) images, and the signal intensity index (SII). An LPA was defined as a lesion with no signal drop on OP images and an SII < 16.5%. For 68 lesions, computed tomography (CT) scans (obtained within one year of the MRI) were also reviewed. Results: Of the 69 patients evaluated, 42 (60.8%) were women and 27 (39.2%) were men. The mean age was 59.2 ± 14.1 years. Among the 74 confirmed adrenal adenomas evaluated, the mean lesion size was 18.5 ± 7.7 mm (range, 7.0-56.0 mm) for reader 1 and 21.0 ± 8.3 mm (range, 7.0-55.0 mm) for reader 2 (p = 0.055). On the basis of the signal drop in OP MRI sequences, both readers identified five (6.8%) of the 74 lesions as being LPAs. When determined on the basis of the SII, that frequency was three (4.0%) for reader 1 and four (5.4%) for reader 2. On CT, 21 (30.8%) of the 68 lesions evaluated were classified as LPAs. Conclusion: The prevalence of LPA was significantly lower on MRI than on CT. That prevalence tends to be even lower when the definition of LPA relies on a quantitative analysis rather than on a qualitative (visual) analysis.