Utility of MRI in the characterization of indeterminate small renal lesions previously seen on screening CT scans of potential renal donor patients

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OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to determine whether MRI could more confidently characterize indeterminate small renal lesions (< 15 mm) previously seen on CT scans of potential renal donor patients and whether such characterization could impact surgical management and donor candidate status. MATERIALS AND METHODS. After dedicated contrast-enhanced renal CT examinations of a population of renal donor patients identified indeterminate small renal lesions (< 15 mm), dedicated renal MRI examinations were performed for 55 of those patients. Two radiologists used consensus reading of established MRI characteristics to characterize indeterminate small lesions as simple cysts, hemorrhagic cysts, angiomyolipomas, or solid renal masses. RESULTS. A total of 94 indeterminate small renal lesions were detected on CT. MRI was able to confidently diagnose 93 of those lesions, including 83 cysts, eight hemorrhagic cysts, and two angiomyolipomas. MRI directly affected the surgical management of four of the patients (7%). CONCLUSION. For potential renal donor patients, MRI can be an effective means of characterizing lesions that are deemed to be too small to characterize by CT. MRI can also potentially alter the surgical management and donor status of this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-330
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015



  • Indeterminate renal lesions
  • Renal mass
  • Renal transplant
  • Small renal lesions
  • Too small to characterize

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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