Neuroblastoma

  • Etiology: tumor of neuroblastic origin occurring along sympathetic chain – neck (5%), thoracic (15%), abdominal (60%) – adrenal (50%) + sympathetic chain, pelvic (5%) – organ of Zuckerkandel + presacral
  • Imaging: solid mass, often grow beyond adrenal, displacing kidney, crossing midline and encasing abdominal vasculature, extends into neural foramina
  • CT: 80% calcified
  • DDX: neuroblastoma, ganglioneuroblastoma, ganglioneuroma – differ in malignancy potential with neuroblastoma being the most malignant and ganglioneuroma being essentially benign
  • Complications: metastases to bone (50% at diagnosis), spinal canal invasion, lymph nodes, lung, liver
  • Clinical: urine should be checked for elevated catecholemines (HVA and VMA), 80% before 4 years old, 5% after 10 years old, opsoclonus / myoclonus, associated with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome / Neurofibromatosis Type I / Hirschsprung disease / DiGeorge syndrome

Cases of Neuroblastoma

MRI of neuroblastoma invading the spinal canal
Coronal T1 MRI without contrast of the chest shows a right paraspinal mass in the region of the right adrenal gland that on axial sequences was seen to extend into the spinal canal.
MRI of neuroblastoma
Sagittal T2 MRI shows a huge left adrenal mass that was noted to cross midline and encase the abdominal vasculature.
CT of neuroblastoma
Axial CT with contrast of the abdomen shows a large midline calcified mass that crosses the midline and encases abdominal vessels.
CXR and CT of ganglioneuroma
CXR shows a smooth mass in the left superior/posterior mediastinum. Axial CT with contrast of the chest shows a non-calcified solid paraspinal mass.
CXR and MRI of neuroblastoma
CXR PA and lateral shows a large left posterior mediastinal mass. Coronal and sagittal T1 MRI without contrast (lower left and middle) and coronal T1 MRI with contrast (lower right) of the chest shows an enhancing mass arising from the left adrenal gland extending up into the left thorax.
CXR and CT of neuroblastoma
CXR shows a posterior mediastinal mass to the left of the spine that is clearly calcified on the coronal and axial CT with contrast of the chest.