PURPOSE: To evaluate whether the vascular pattern at power Doppler ultrasonography (US) improves diagnostic accuracy in small solid renal lesions over that at gray-scale US. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Gray-scale and power Doppler US were performed prospectively in 64 small (1.5-3.0-cm- diameter) solid renal lesions (26 renal cell carcinomas [RCCs], 34 angiomyolipomas, two oncocytomas, two pseudotumors). At gray-scale US, echogenicity and homogeneity of the lesion, an anechoic rim, intratumoral cysts, shadowing, or a central scar were sought. At power Doppler US, the vascular distribution was divided into four patterns. RESULTS: Findings at gray-scale US included an anechoic rim or intratumoral cysts in 20 of 26 RCCs (77%) and the two oncocytomas. Shadowing was seen in seven of 34 angiomyolipomas (21%). Echogenicity, homogeneity, and a central scar were not pathognomonic. At power Doppler US, pattern 3 (peripheral) or 4 (mixed penetrating and peripheral) was seen in all RCCs, seven of 34 angiomyolipomas, and the two oncocytomas. Pattern 1 (intratumoral focal) or 2 (penetrating) was seen in 27 angiomyolipomas. Pattern 1 or 2 was characteristic of angiomyolipomas. The rate of correct diagnosis was significantly increased with combined US (78%) as compared to that with gray- scale (42%) or power Doppler (45%) US alone. CONCLUSION: The vascular distribution at power Doppler US could add important information to gray- scale US findings for differential diagnosis of small solid renal lesions.
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