Q. What kind of MRI is used for diagnosing adrenal tumors?

Answered by
Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmed
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 14, 2021

Hi doctor,

The doctor prescribed me a CT scan with contrast, but I have thyroid disease, and I have already done several CT scans this year in connection with COVID-19. Is there any difference in diagnosing adrenal tumors if I undergo an MRI scan without contrast on a modern, powerful machine?



Welcome to icliniq.com.

For the adrenal gland, first is to do the hormone tests, and if these suggest any abnormalities, then to go for imaging. There are numerous imaging modalities, including CT (computed tomography), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) imaging, ultrasonography (US), and nuclear medicine imaging, that can be used to evaluate the adrenal gland. CT is the primary modality for both detection and characterization of adrenal masses. If an adrenal mass is suspected, the CT technique should be tailored to optimize visualization of the adrenal gland. A nonenhanced examination should be performed followed by a contrast material–enhanced study should be done. Chemical shift MR imaging is useful as a problem-solving modality when evaluating the adrenal gland, and T2-weighted imaging may be helpful for detecting pheochromocytoma. Nuclear medicine imaging is primarily a problem-solving modality for lesions not adequately characterized with CT and MR imaging. Iodine-131 (I-131) metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG), and indium-111 octreotide are used to evaluate for pheochromocytoma, and I-131 6-beta-monomethyl-19-nor cholesterol (NP-59) can be used to detect aldosterone and other hyperfunctioning cortical tumors. Positron emission tomography (PET) shows promise in differentiating benign from malignant masses. If you have done lots of CT images and want to avoid them, another CT MRI can be done.

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