What is the accuracy of CT scanning in identifying renal lymphoma?

Updated: Mar 22, 2019
  • Author: Ali Shirkhoda, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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In a patient with known lymphoma, low-attenuating perirenal masses or nodules almost always represent renal lymphoma. On contrast-enhanced CT scans, these lesions have attenuation values higher than those of simple fluid. Contrary to typical primary renal cell carcinoma, lymphomatous masses are often homogeneous and do not display significant enhancement. If the renal mass is exophytic, it causes vascular displacement and not encasement; the latter feature is common in renal cell carcinoma.

Such findings may be associated with retroperitoneal adenopathy; however, when a single mass is found, their differentiation from renal cell carcinoma may become difficult, and occasionally, biopsy may become necessary. In perirenal lymphoma (halo sign on sonograms), the degree of confidence is higher.

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