What Is a Hypodense Mass?

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A hypodense mass or lesion is part of the findings of a radiology scan, such as a computerized tomography, or CT, scan, usually in area of the liver or pancreas. During a CT scan, this area will light up, but the finding of a hypodense mass does not necessarily indicate tumors or cancerous lesions. Instead, it means that the color of the scan had changed to indicate the presence of some type of mass.

The finding of a hypodense liver mass on a patient is only one sign that there may be hepatoma or another liver condition. Other items on the CT scan that may indicate a problem include fat on the liver, hemorrhage, necrosis, calcification or a low attenuation lesion. A normal liver is the same density as the spleen and will show four lobes all of equal sizes and shapes. Often, a hypodense mass will not show up on a CT scan unless conducted with Contrast, so the patient will be injected with the dye intravenously. Contrast is a radioactive dye that will light up certain regions on the body during CT scans.

MRIs, or magnetic resonance images, are often routinely conducted on the liver and are graded by appearance. For example, a T1 MRI scan indicates that a liver is moderately hypo intense, a T2 scan shows a hyper intense liver, and a C+ (Gd) scan indicate that there may be lesions present on the liver.