Adrenal adenomas: Characteristic postgadolinium capillary blush on dynamic MR imaging

Jae Joon Chung, Richard C. Semelka, Diego R. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


We sought to evaluate dynamic post-gadolinium contrast enhanced magnetic resonance (MR) imaging characteristics of adrenal adenomas with comparison to those of malignant adrenal tumors. MR images, including in- and out-of-phase spoiled gradient echo (SGE) and dynamic gadolinium enhancement, of 35 adrenal adenomas in 34 patients, and 12 malignant adrenal tumors in 12 patients, were reviewed retrospectively. MR images were assessed for the presence of a capillary blush on immediate postgadolinium SGE images, and for rapid washout of contrast on 45-second postgadolinium SGE images. Thirty-five adrenal adenomas (mean size, 3.1 cm) and 12 malignant adrenal tumors (mean size, 7.4 cm) were assessed. Of 35 adrenal adenomas, 25 (71%) showed a homogeneous capillary blush on immediate postgadolinium images. Thirty-three (94%) adrenal adenomas demonstrated rapid washout on 45-second postgadolinium images (P < 0.001). Of 35 adrenal adenomas, 30 (86%) showed diminished signal intensity (SI) on out-of-phase images. Of 12 malignant adrenal tumors, none showed a homogeneous capillary blush on immediate postgadolinium images. Six (50%) malignant tumors showed negligible enhancement, four (33%) showed irregular patchy enhancement, and two (17%) showed peripheral enhancement (P < 0.001). On 45-second postgadolinium images, 11 (92%) of 12 malignant adrenal tumors showed irregular enhancement. In the majority of adrenal adenomas, an initial homogeneous capillary blush and rapid washout are demonstrated on gadolinium-enhanced dynamic MR imaging. Our preliminary results suggest that this may provide useful complementary information to the appearance of adrenal masses on in- and out-of-phase images. (

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Adrenal gland
  • Adrenal gland MR
  • Adrenal gland neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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