Abdominal involvement in Erdheim-Chester disease (ECD): MRI and CT imaging findings and their association with BRAF V600E mutation

Moozhan Nikpanah, Lauren Kim, S. Mojdeh Mirmomen, Rolf Symons, Ioannis Papageorgiou, William A. Gahl, Kevin O’Brien, Juvianee I. Estrada-Veras, Ashkan A. Malayeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: To use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) to define abdominal involvement in Erdheim–Chester disease (ECD), and to investigate the association between these findings and the BRAFV600E mutation. Methods: This prospective study was performed on 61 ECD patients (46 men). The MRI and CT imaging studies were reviewed independently by two experienced radiologists. The association between BRAFV600E mutation and imaging findings was analysed using Fisher’s exact test, and odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. Results: Perinephric infiltration was the most common finding (67%), followed by involvement of proximal ureters (61%). In 56% of cases, infiltration extended to the renal sinuses, and in 38% caused hydronephrosis. Adrenal gland infiltration was present in 48% of patients. Infiltration of renal artery (49%) and aorta (43%) were the most common vascular findings, followed by sheathing of celiac, superior mesenteric artery (SMA) or inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) (23%). The BRAFV600E mutation was positive in 53% of patients with interpretable BRAF sequencing. There was a statistically significant association between this mutation and perinephric infiltration (p = 0.003), renal sinus involvement (p < 0.001), infiltration of proximal ureters (p < 0.001), hydronephrosis (p < 0.001), adrenal gland involvement (p < 0.001), periaortic infiltration (p = 0.03), sheathing or stenosis of renal artery (p < 0.001) and sheathing of other aortic branches (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Renal and vascular structures are the most commonly affected abdominal organs in ECD patients. Some of these findings have significant positive association with the BRAFV600E mutation. Key Points: • Abdominal imaging plays a crucial role in management of Erdheim–Chester disease. • Significant associations exist between BRAFV600Emutation and several abdominal imaging findings. • Considering several associations, evaluating BRAFV600Emutation status is recommended in ECD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3751-3759
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean radiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Abdomen
  • Erdheim–Chester disease
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multidetector computed tomography
  • Proto-oncogene proteins B-Raf

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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