MRI Shows Benefit in Evaluating Testicular Masses

Study finds imaging method accurate for identifying malignant and benign growths

THURSDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can accurately differentiate between benign and malignant testicular growths, according to research published in the March issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Athina C. Tsili, M.D., of the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece, and colleagues analyzed data from 33 patients (mean age, 35 years) with testicular masses found clinically and on ultrasound. Patients underwent T1- and T2-weighted MRI sequences, as well as orchiectomy or biopsy.

The researchers found that most (78 percent) of the 36 intratesticular lesions were malignant. Of the malignant tumors, 43 percent had invaded the testicular tunicae or epididymis, 11 percent had invaded the spermatic cord, and 46 percent were still confined to the testis. The sensitivity of MRI for differentiating between benign and malignant lesions was 100 percent, and the specificity was 87.5 percent. The overall accuracy of MRI in assessing the local extent of malignant tumors was 92.8 percent.

"Although most solid intratesticular masses should be considered malignant, it is important to recognize benign testicular entities for which radical orchiectomy is unnecessary," the authors write. "We conclude that MRI is an efficient diagnostic tool for the evaluation of testicular masses. It is accurate in the preoperative differentiation of benign and malignant intratesticular masses, facilitating accurate estimation of the local extent of disease in patients with malignant tumors."

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