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Childhood tumor

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Nephroblastoma diagnosis

Nephroblastoma may be quite large when discovered. In fact, many nephroblastomas are larger than the kidneys they grow in. However, most nephroblastomas are discovered before they spread to other organs.

Diagnostic testing

If your child may indicate symptoms of nephroblastoma, the doctor will examine your child and inquire about their health status and family history.

One or more of the following tests can be used to determine whether your child has nephroblastoma and whether it has spread. These tests can also be used to determine whether the treatment is effective.

Imaging examination, including:

CT or CAT (computed axial tomography) scan

Magnetic resonance imaging scanning

PET (positron emission tomography) scanning



Bone scan


Diagnosis of nephroblastoma almost always requires biopsy. Because the treatment of nephroblastoma requires surgery, biopsy can be performed simultaneously with surgical removal of the tumor.

Sometimes, doctors may remove cells for examination before undergoing surgery. If so, one of the following methods can be used:

Fine needle aspiration: Inserting a fine needle into a tumor to remove a small amount of tissue or fluid

Core biopsy: Similar to FNA, but using thicker needles to remove small cylindrical samples (cores)

Surgical biopsy: removal of tissue during surgery

Blood and urine tests

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