Imaging accuracy and incidence of Wilms' and non-Wilms' renal tumors in children

J Pediatr Surg. 2008 Jul;43(7):1301-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2008.02.077.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the actual incidence, age distribution, and preoperative imaging accuracy of non-Wilms' tumors (nWT) in children with renal masses.

Methods: Pathologic reports from all tumor nephrectomies or open renal biopsies performed at a single institution from September 1999 to June 2005 were analyzed. Patient demographics, pathologic findings, specific imaging study descriptors, and differential diagnoses were tabulated. Accuracy of imaging studies in identifying specific tumors was calculated.

Results: Ninety-two patients were identified. Sixty-eight had Wilms' tumor (WT) and 24 had an nWT. The nWT group included congenital mesoblastic nephroma (5), clear cell sarcoma (4), neuroblastoma (4), renal cell carcinoma (4), lymphoma (2), angiomyolipoma (2), teratoma (1), hemangioma (1), and renal epithelial tumor (1). When grouped by ages, the incidence of nWT was between 0% and 83%. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for computed tomography (CT) determining a diagnosis of WT were 0.92, 0.55, 0.84, and 0.73, respectively. The CT reports explicitly stated a potential diagnosis in 89% of cases, with a diagnostic accuracy of 82%.

Conclusions: Non-Wilms' tumors may represent a significant proportion of renal tumors in children, especially in children aged less than 6 months or greater than 12 years. Preoperative imaging is of limited value in differentiating these tumors. These data have significant implications for parental counseling, surgical plan, and the choice of neoadjuvant chemotherapy and argue in favor of obtaining a tissue diagnosis before instituting therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / pathology*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Nephrectomy
  • Wilms Tumor / diagnosis*
  • Wilms Tumor / epidemiology
  • Wilms Tumor / pathology