Objective: The objective of this study was to define the radiological characteristics of 2-phase computed tomography (CT) of parotid gland Warthin tumors (WTs) with a pathologic basis for these findings.
Methods: We prospectively enrolled 116 patients with parotid gland tumor who underwent preoperative 2-phase CT scans(scanning delays of 30 and 120 seconds). The attenuation changes and enhancement patterns were analyzed according to pathology. We also evaluated size-matched samples of WTs and pleomorphic adenoma by staining CD31, vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor 2, collagen IV, and smooth muscle actin.
Results: Computed tomography numbers in WTs were significantly higher than those in other tumors in early-phase scans and lower in delayed scans. Pathologically, CD31(+) blood vessel area was significantly higher in WTs than in pleomorphic adenomas. In addition, WTs had an extensive capillary network and many leaky blood vessels.
Conclusions: The enhancement pattern of early fill-in and early washout is the typical finding of WTs on 2-phase CT scans, which may be attributed pathologically to abundant blood vessel and extensive capillary network.