Imaging of Wilms tumor: an update

Pediatr Radiol. 2019 Oct;49(11):1441-1452. doi: 10.1007/s00247-019-04423-3. Epub 2019 Oct 16.


Wilms tumor is the most common pediatric renal tumor, accounting for approximately 7% of all childhood cancers. Imaging plays an important role in the detection, staging, post-therapy evaluation and surveillance of Wilms tumor. Wilms tumor can be detected during surveillance of a known cancer predisposition or after a child presents with symptoms. In this manuscript we describe an evidence-based approach to the initial evaluation of Wilms tumor using current guidelines from the Children's Oncology Group (COG). We illustrate the COG staging system for pediatric renal tumors and highlight key imaging findings that are critical for surgical management. We also discuss the controversies regarding detection and significance of <5-mm pulmonary nodules at initial staging. And finally, we present some thoughts regarding surveillance of Wilms tumor, where overall survival has now approached 90%.

Keywords: Cancer; Children; Nephroblastoma; Renal; Wilms tumor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Multiple Pulmonary Nodules / diagnostic imaging
  • Multiple Pulmonary Nodules / pathology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Wilms Tumor / diagnostic imaging*
  • Wilms Tumor / pathology