To describe the appearance of retroperitoneal calcifications
seen at computed tomography (CT) and to investigate which CT features distinguish benign from malignant retroperitoneal calcifications
We identified 25 patients with retroperitoneal calcifications
by retrospective review of 39,931 abdominopelvic CT scans. Etiology of retroperitoneal calcifications
was determined by examination of medical and histopathological records. By consensus, 2 abdominal radiologists recorded calcification number (solitary or multiple), location (suprarenal or infrarenal), morphology (globular or nonglobular), and the presence of soft-tissue components. The association between CT findings and etiology was assessed using the Fisher exact test.
were malignant in 15 patients and benign in 10. Solitary calcifications
were seen more commonly in patients with benign disease (6 of 10 vs. 1 of 15, P
< 0.01). Suprarenal calcifications
were seen only in patients with malignancy (13 of 15 patients, P
< 0.01). Nonglobular calcifications
were seen only in patients with benign disease (6 of 10, P
< 0.01). Soft-tissue components were seen more commonly in patients with malignancy (14 of 15 vs. 4 of 10; P
are rarely seen at CT and may be benign or malignant in etiology. Solitary or nonglobular retroperitoneal calcifications
are likely to be benign while calcifications
that are multiple, globular, suprarenal, or associated with noncalcified soft-tissue components are likely to be malignant.