How I do it: evaluating renal masses

Radiology. 2005 Aug;236(2):441-50. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2362040218.


With modern computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging equipment, the diagnosis of most renal masses is usually straightforward and accurate. The major question to be answered is whether the mass represents a surgical or nonsurgical lesion or, in some cases, if follow-up studies are necessary. This evaluation usually can be accomplished if a high-quality examination is performed, if the clinical history of the patient is kept in mind, if conditions that mimic a renal neoplasm are considered and excluded, and if there is an awareness of the potential pitfalls and limitations of CT and MR imaging. In this article, the authors present their technique in the performance of CT and MR imaging examinations, summarize their approach to the diagnosis of renal masses, review the imaging findings in these lesions, and stress the limitations in renal mass diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*