Application of a protocol for magnetic resonance spectroscopy of adrenal glands: an experiment with over 100 cases* * Study developed at Department of Imaging Diagnosis – Escola Paulista de Medicina da Universidade Federal de São Paulo (EPM-Unifesp), São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Homero José de Farias e Melo Suzan M. Goldman Jacob Szejnfeld Juliano F. Faria Martha K. P. Huayllas Cássio Andreoni Cláudio E. Kater About the authors


To evaluate a protocol for two-dimensional (2D) hydrogen proton (1H) magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) (Siemens Medical Systems; Erlangen, Germany) in the detection of adrenal nodules and differentiation between benign and malignant masses (adenomas, pheochromocytomas, carcinomas and metastases).

Materials and Methods:

A total of 118 patients (36 men; 82 women) (mean age: 57.3 ± 13.3 years) presenting with 138 adrenal nodules/masses were prospectively assessed. A multivoxel system was utilized with a 2D point-resolved spectroscopy/chemical shift imaging sequence. The following ratios were calculated: choline (Cho)/creatine (Cr), 4.0–4.3/Cr, lipid (Lip)/Cr, Cho/Lip and lactate (Lac)/Cr.


2D-1H-MRS was successful in 123 (89.13%) lesions. Sensitivity and specificity values observed for the ratios and cutoff points were the following: Cho/Cr ≥ 1.2, 100% sensitivity, 98.2% specificity (differences between adenomas/pheochromocytomas and carcinomas/ metastases); 4.0–4.3 ppm/Cr ≥ 1.5, 92.3% sensitivity, 96.9% specificity (differences between carcinomas/pheochromocytomas and adenomas/metastases); Lac/Cr ≤ –7.449, 90.9% sensitivity and 77.8% specificity (differences between pheochromocytomas and carcinomas/adenomas).


Information provided by 2D-1H-MRS were effective and allowed for the differentiation between adrenal masses and nodules in most cases of lesions with > 1.0 cm in diameter.

Adrenal gland; Magnetic resonance imaging; Spectroscopy

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