Nine patients with polycystic kidney disease were examined by MRI, CT and sonography. MRI distinguished among simple cysts, cysts complicated by prior hemorrhage, and coexistent renal cell carcinoma. On T1-weighted spin-echo images, simple renal cysts appeared as round, homogeneous, low-signal regions with smooth outer margins and a distinct interface with remaining normal renal parenchyma or adjacent cysts. Hemorrhagic cysts were seen as homogeneous medium- to high-signal intensity regions, and about half of them correlated with hyperdense cyst by CT. In five cases, fluid-iron levels were evident by dependent high-intensity layering within the cysts. Renal cell carcinomas occasionally show high intensity because of hemorrhage, but intratumoral fluid-iron levels have not yet been described. These results suggest that MRI is useful in differentiating between simple cysts, hemorrhagic cysts, and neoplasms when CT and sonography are indeterminate.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging