Contrast-enhanced ultrasound of adrenal hemorrhage: a helpful problem solving tool

Maciej Piskunowicz, Joanna Stefanowicz, Tomasz Batko, Misun Hwang, Dominik Świętoń, Arkadiusz Szarmach, Susan Back, Wojciech Kosiak


Aims: A focal lesion in the region of the adrenal gland in a newborn often requires further assessment. Ultrasound (US) is the initial imaging method of choice in young children as it does not use radiation or require sedation and it has excellent spatial resolution. In this case series, we present contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) as a problem-solving tool in the evaluation of neonatal adrenal lesions.

Material and methods: The imaging and medical records of five patients with adrenal lesions were retrospectively reviewed. All patients underwent US as an initial examination and all had US follow-up. Additionally, two patients had MRI examinations. CEUS was performed in all patients as a follow up examination. The enhancement characteristics of the adrenal masses on CEUS were analyzed with the use of VueBox software. In addition, qualitative analysis of the cine loops for the presence of vascularization within the lesions was performed by consensus between two radiologists.

Results: The presence of an adrenal hematoma was correctly detected and characterized by CEUS in all five cases using VueBox perfusion analysis. Adrenal hematomas had no internal perfusion and flat time intensity curves.

Conclusion: The quantitative and qualitative CEUS assessment of the mass can distinguish hemorrhage from a malignant lesion. Based on our findings, CEUS could serve as an alternative diagnostic tool to magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of slowly resolving NAH lesions.


CEUS; adrenal gland; children; neonatal adrenal hemorrhage; neuroblastoma

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