Objectives: The objective of this study was to define the characteristic imaging appearances of the common renal cell carcinoma (RCC) subtypes. Materials and Methods: The Institutional Review Board approval was obtained for this HIPAA-compliant retrospective study, and informed consent was waived. 520 patients (336 men, 184 women; age range, 22–88 years) underwent preoperative cross-sectional imaging of 544 RCCs from 2008 to 2013. The imaging appearances of the RCCs and clinical information were reviewed. Data analysis was performed using parametric and nonparametric statistics, descriptive statistics, and receiver operating characteristic analysis. Results: The RCC subtypes showed significant differences (P < 0.001) in several imaging parameters such as tumor margins, tumor consistency, tumor homogeneity, the presence of a central stellate scar, T2 signal intensity, and the degree of tumor enhancement. Low T2 signal intensity on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allowed differentiation of papillary RCC from clear cell and chromophobe RCCs with 90.9% sensitivity and 93.1% specificity. A tumor‑to‑cortex ratio ≥1 on the corticomedullary phase had 98% specificity for clear cell RCC. Conclusion: The T2 signal intensity of the tumor on MRI and its degree of enhancement are useful imaging parameters for discriminating between the RCC subtypes while gross morphological findings offer additional value in RCC profiling.
Keywords: Corticomedullary Phase, T2 Signal Intensity, Multimodality Imaging, Renal Cell Carcinoma Subtypes, Tumor-to-cortex Ratio
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