Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Arises from neuroblasts anywhere within the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal medulla. Most common site is abdomen (60% ) and 70% of these are adrenal, 13% are in the thorax, 5% are in the neck and 4% are in the pelvis and 2% are in the posterior fossa and olfactory bulb. Spreads via direct invasion, blood, and lymphatics. Many have early bone marrow involvement. Skeletal metastases can be isolated foci or can be diffuse metaphyseal infiltration of the long bones. Hepatic metastases are also common.
The abdominal plain film shows a calcified mass in 66%.
Ultrasound shows a solid mass that displaces the kidney, but does not distort it.
CT and MRI show the extent of the mass, with MRI demonstrating if there is any extension into the spinal canal.
Nuclear medicine bone scan to displays bone metastases.
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