Carotid body tumor MRI

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sahar Memar Montazerin, M.D.[2] Maria Fernanda Villarreal, M.D. [3]

Overview

MRI may be helpful in the diagnosis of carotid body tumor. Findings on MRI suggestive of/diagnostic of carotid body tumor is salt and pepper appearance on the T2 weighted images. On T1 weighted images, the tumor has the same intensity as the muscle.

MRI

  • MRI imaging features of carotid body tumor are characteristics.[1]
  • Due to the vascular nature of the tumor, contrast administration results in its enhancement.
  • The classic finding is a salt and pepper appearance on T2 weighted images.
    • The salt is for the foci of hemorrhage resulting in high signal
    • The pepper is for the low signal flow voids
  • On T1 weighted images, the carotid body tumor has the same intensity as the muscle.
  • On T2 weighted images, it tends to appear hyperintense.
T1 image, Case courtesy of Dr Amro Omar, Radiopaedia.org. From the case rID: 12777


T2 image, Case courtesy of Dr Amro Omar, Radiopaedia.org. From the case rID: 12777


References

  1. Wieneke, Jacqueline A.; Smith, Alice (2009). "Paraganglioma: Carotid Body Tumor". Head and Neck Pathology. 3 (4): 303–306. doi:10.1007/s12105-009-0130-5. ISSN 1936-055X.