Heterogeneous vs heterogenous

Dr Craig Hacking et al.

The words heterogeneous and heterogenous are commonly used in radiological and medical description and reporting. They are often incorrectly used interchangeably, as they have have significantly different meanings.

Heterogeneous refers to a structure with dissimilar components or elements. For example a dermoid cyst has heterogeneous attenuation on CT. It is the antonym for homogeneous, meaning a structure with similar components.

Heterogenous refers to a structure having a foreign origin. For example heterogenous bone formation (to make matters worse, heterogenous bone formation is often heterogeneous too!). 

 

Share article

Article information

rID: 41601
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Heterogeneous
  • Heterogenous

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.
Loadinganimation

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.