Tuberous sclerosis complex: renal imaging findings

Radiology. 2002 Nov;225(2):451-6. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2252011584.


Purpose: To review the renal imaging findings and changes over time in a large series of young patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).

Materials and methods: One hundred thirty-nine renal imaging studies (113 ultrasonographic scans, 15 computed tomographic scans, and 11 magnetic resonance images) were identified in 59 patients with TSC (mean age, 11.4 years; age range, 3 days to 36 years). There were 31 male and 28 female patients. Angiomyolipomas and cysts were identified and characterized according to the following features: number, unilateral versus bilateral, largest diameter, and change over time. In patients whose initial examination results were normal, the age at onset of lesions was noted. The chi(2) test was used to determine whether cysts and angiomyolipomas occurred in different subpopulations.

Results: Angiomyolipomas were identified in 47 (80%) patients and were too numerous to count in 36 (76%), focal in 38 (81%), and bilateral in 42 (89%). The mean largest diameter was 21 mm. Cysts were identified in 28 (47%) patients, 18 (64%) of whom had fewer than five cysts. Cysts were bilateral in 17 (61%) patients. The mean largest diameter was 20 mm. In patients with initially normal examination results, the mean age at presentation was 9.0 years for those with cysts and 9.2 years for those with angiomyolipomas. In 80 follow-up examinations, size and/or number increased in 32 (40%) angiomyolipomas and 21 (26%) cysts. Cysts and angiomyolipomas did not occur in significantly different subpopulations (P =.13).

Conclusion: Both angiomyolipomas and cysts occur commonly in pediatric patients with TSC and tend to increase in size and number with increasing age. Angiomyolipomas are more common than cysts and tend to be numerous.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiomyolipoma / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases, Cystic / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Tuberous Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Ultrasonography*