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Tumoral angiogenesis in both adrenal adenomas and nonadenomas: a promising computed tomography biomarker for diagnosis

Authors Wang X, Li K, Sun H, Zhao J, Zhang Z, Zheng L, Li W, Bai R, Zhang G

Received 6 August 2015

Accepted for publication 18 January 2016

Published 30 March 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 1823—1830


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Nitin Kumar Agarwal

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jianmin Xu

Xifu Wang,1 Kangan Li,1 Haoran Sun,2 Jinglong Zhao,1 Zhuoli Zhang,3 Linfeng Zheng,1 Weiguo Li,3 Renju Bai,2 Guixiang Zhang1

1Department of Radiology, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, 2Department of Radiology, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Radiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA

Abstract: To explore the correlation between the typical findings of dynamic contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DCE-CT) and tumoral angiogenesis (microvessel density [MVD] and vascular endothelial growth factor [VEGF]) in adenomas and nonadenomas such that the enhancement mechanism of DCE-CT in adrenal masses can be explained more precisely. Forty-two patients with 46 adrenal masses confirmed by surgery and pathology were included in the study; these masses included 23 adenomas, 18 nonadenomas, and 5 hyperplastic nodules. The findings of DCE-CT and angiogenesis in adrenal masses were studied. The features of DCE-CT in adenomas and nonadenomas were evaluated to determine whether the characteristics of DCE-CT in adrenal masses were closely correlated with tumoral angiogenesis. Adrenal adenomas were significantly different from nonadenomas in the time density curve and the mean percentage of enhancement washout at the 7-minute delay time in DCE-CT. The mean MVD and VEGF expression exhibited significant differences between the rapid washout group (types A and C) and the slow washout group (types B, D, and E) and between the relative washout (Washr) ≥34% and the absolute washout (Washa) ≥43% on the 7-minute enhanced CT scans (P=0.000). Adenomas were suggested when adrenal masses presented as types A and C, and/or the Washr ≥34%, and/or the Washa ≥43%, and the opposite was suggested for nonadenomas. These results showed a close correlation between the characteristics of DCE-CT and both MVD and VEGF expression in adrenal masses. There was also a significant difference in MVD and VEGF expression between adenomas and nonadenomas. In conclusion, MVD and VEGF expression are two important pathological factors that play important roles in the characterization of DCE-CT in adrenal masses because they cause different time density curve types, the Washr and the Washa for adrenal adenomas and nonadenomas.

Keywords: tumoral angiongenesis, adrenal adenomas and nonadenomas, x-ray computed tomography, biomarker, diagnosis

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