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Table 1 CT and MRI imaging characteristics of common renal masses

From: Assessment and characterisation of common renal masses with CT and MRI

Renal mass CT [1214, 20, 25, 31, 39, 43] MRI [3234, 40, 43, 47, 50, 52]
Enhancement pattern # T1 (#) T2 (#) Enhancement pattern (#)
Simple cyst No enhancement Hypointense Hyperintense No enhancement
Complex cyst Mural/septal (nodular) enhancement Hypo-, hyperintense (depends on haemorrhage or proteinaceous fluid) Hypo-, hyperintense (depends on haemorrhage or proteinaceous fluid) Mural/septal (nodular) enhancement
RCC clear cell Hyperenhancement (90%); heterogeneous pattern (90%) (cystic/necrotic) Isointense (cytoplasmatic fat; in-, opp phase); hypointense in case of necrosis Hyperintense (hypointense in case of haemorrhage) Hyperenhancement (90%); heterogeneous pattern (90%) (cystic/necrotic)
RCC papillary Hypoenhancement (57%); homogeneous pattern (90%) Isointense Hypointense Hypoenhancement; homogeneous pattern (heterogeneous in case of necrosis)
TCC Hypoenhancement; heterogeneous pattern Isointense (to medulla) Hypointense (in the case of infiltration) Hypoenhancement; filling defects in the collecting system
Lymphoma Hypoenhancement; heterogeneous pattern Iso-hypointense Hypointense Hypoenhancement; heterogeneous pattern
Adenoma/ oncocytoma Hyper-, hypo-enhancement; heterogeneous pattern; central scar Hypointense (70%) Hyperintense (67%) Hyper-, hypo-enhancement; heterogeneous pattern; central scar
Abscess/ xanthogranuloma. PN Mural enhancement; heterogeneous pattern (calculi, hydronephrosis) Isointense Hyperintense Mural enhancement; heterogeneous pattern (hydronephrosis)
Angiomyolipoma Hypo-, hyperenhancement; fat-containing Hyperintense; bulk fat (fat saturation) Hyperintense; (hypointense in lipid-poor AML) hypo-, hyperenhancement
Pseudotumour Enhancement equal to normal tissue Isointense Isointense Enhancement equal to normal tissue
  1. #Densitiy/intensity compared with renal parenchyma