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    CT texture analysis may aid risk stratification of renal masses

    San Diego—A recent study suggests experimental "texture analysis" of renal masses via computed tomography scan holds promise as a technique to allow more effective risk stratification.

    Use of the analysis technique appears to allow more detection of patterns "associated with clinical behavior and protein expression in renal cell carcinoma," said senior author Meghan Lubner, MD, of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison. The study findings were presented at the 2017 American College of Surgeons clinical congress in San Diego.

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    While CT and magnetic resonance imaging scans can identify large, solid renal masses, Dr. Lubner said, they offer no information about whether 75%-80% of small renal masses are cancerous. In addition, "For patients with small renal cell cancers," she said, "analysis of conventional imaging is unable to provide details for risk stratification such as tumor grade, RCC subtype, or identification of high-risk features."

    Enter CT texture analysis, which offers an alternative to visual interpretation of renal masses, she said.

    "CT texture evaluation is exciting because it allows computer quantification and analysis of statistical patterns within the image that may not be identified with visual inspection," she said. "We can see visually in many cases that a tumor is heterogeneous. It is just difficult to quantify in a meaningful way without a tool like this."

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    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga is a medical writer based in San Diego, Calif.

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