Conclusions

Prompt diagnosis and characterization of an abdominal mass in a child is an ever new challenge of diagnostic imaging. Awareness of the specific pediatric conditions (pathophysiology, changing anatomy of the growing organism, age-related and characteristic pathology) is a prerequisite with regard to a correct interpretation of the findings, as well as to the prompt and successful pre-ceeding acquisition of imaging data. The experience and bias of the radiologist performing the evaluation, in terms of the choice of diagnostic instruments, will and should influence the choice of the technical proce-dure(s). However, there are procedural recommendations that have general validity. Professional expertise combined with state-of-the-art technology allows highly accurate diagnostic imaging, sometimes even by the simple means of US and X-ray. Technically more powerful and sophisticated equipment such as MRI and MSCT may be indispensable and the method(s) of choice in numerous cases. Yet, one should remember that there are always challenges to differential diagnosis and the very unexpected case may be waiting even for the skilled and experienced diagnostician.

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