Neuroblastoma vs Wilms tumor

Dr Derek Smith and A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

Both neuroblastoma and Wilms tumor occur in early childhood and typically present as large abdominal masses closely related to the kidneys. Distinguishing between the two is important, and a number of features are helpful.

Neuroblastoma

  • calcification very common: 90%
  • encases vascular structures but does not invade them
  • younger age group (<2 years of age)
  • poorly marginated
  • elevates the aorta away from the vertebral column
  • more commonly crosses the midline, especially behind the aorta 2 
  • more common to have extension into the chest

Wilms tumor

  • calcification uncommon: 10-15%
  • displaces adjacent structures without insinuating between them
  • slightly older age group: peak 3-4 years of age
  • well circumscribed
  • claw sign with the kidney
  • extension into IVC/renal vein
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Article information

rID: 8154
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Wilms tumour vs neuroblastoma
  • Distinguishing between neuroblastoma and Wilms tumour

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: neuroblastoma
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  • Case 2: Wilms tumor
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