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Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor: An Entity of CT and MR Imaging to Differentiate From Malignant Tumors of the Sinonasal Cavity

Yan, Zhongyu PhD; Wang, Yongzhe MD; Zhang, Zhengyu MD

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: January/February 2014 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - p 14–19
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3182a7764c

Objective Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor (IMT) is chronic inflammatory lesions of unknown origins. The preoperative diagnosis for tumors in the sinonasal cavity is difficult to distinguish between IMT and aggressive malignancy in most cases. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the imaging features of IMT distinguishing the 2 types of tumors.

Methods Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were identified retrospectively with IMT in 14 cases and with aggressive malignancy in 38 cases in the sinonasal cavity proven by pathology. Imaging findings were evaluated, including the configuration, extent, margin, calcification, bone involvement, T1WI and T2WI signal intensity, and degree of enhancement.

Results There was a significant difference between IMT and aggressive malignancy regarding the configuration, extension, calcification, bone change, signal intensity and homogeneous on T2-weighted imaging, and degree of enhancement (P < 0.05).

Conclusions Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor and aggressive malignancy have some different imaging features that could be helpful in the differentiation between the lesions. Bone erosion with sclerosis, calcification when present, typically homogenous and never hyperintense of T2 appearance, and mild enhancement played an important role in differentiating sinonasal IMT from malignancies.

From the Department of Radiology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Received for publication May 29, 2013; accepted July 29, 2013.

Reprints: Zhongyu Yan, PhD, Department of Radiology, Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University, No. 1, Dongjiaominxiang, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100730, China (e-mail:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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