Q:

What is a low-attenuation lesion?

A:

According to Dr. West at Cancer Grace, a low-attenuation lesion is a spot that appears on a radiographic image as less dense than the surrounding healthy tissue in that specific organ of the body. For example, a low-attenuation lesion could appear as a result of imaging on the liver, pancreas, kidney or thyroid.

According to Cancer Grace, when a low-attenuation lesion appears stable over a long time frame, it can suggest something like a cyst or a collection of blood vessels in the organ. When a radiography indicates that new, low-attenuation lesions are appearing over time in a patient, the findings can be highly consistent with metastatic cancer. The growth of a low-attenuation lesion is also consistent with the development of metastatic cancer. Metastatic cancer means that cells from an original cancer site in the body have spread to a different location within the body.

According to a World Journal of Gastroenterology article published in July 2009, and displayed on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, liver masses in patients without any symptoms are now easier to discover due to advance technology. Early detection increases with the widespread diagnostic use of ultrasound, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, also known as an MRI.

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