Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Masquerading as Jugular Foramen Paraganglioma: A Role for Novel Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Objectives:To describe a case of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) masquerading as a jugular foramen paraganglioma (JP). To compare imaging findings between skull base metastatic RCC and histologically proven paraganglioma.Methods:A case of unexpected metastatic skull base RCC is reviewed. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were compared between 3 confirmed cases of JP and our case of metastatic RCC. Diffusion-weighted MRI (DW-MRI) sequences and computed apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) values were compared between these entities.Results:A 55-year-old man presents with what appears clinically and radiographically to be JP. The tumor was resected, then discovered on postoperative pathology to be metastatic RCC. Imaging was retrospectively compared between 3 histologically confirmed cases of JP and our case of skull base RCC. The RCC metastasis was indistinguishable from JP on CT and traditional MRI but distinct by ADC values calculated from DW-MRI.Conclusions:Metastatic RCC at the skull base may mimic the clinical presentation and radiographic appearance of JP. The MRI finding of flow voids is seen in both paraganglioma and metastatic RCC. Diffusion-weighted MRI is able to distinguish these entities, highlighting its potential utility in distinguishing skull base lesions.

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