Incidentally discovered adrenal masses: a functional and morphological study

Salvatore Maria Corsello, Silvia Della Casa, L Bollanti, Vittoria Rufini, Carlo Antonio Rota, Francesco Danza, Simonetta Colasanti, C Vellante, Luigi Troncone, Antonino Barbarino

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

14 Citazioni (Scopus)


In the last two years we have examined 17 consecutive patients (11 females and 6 males, 20-66 years old) in whom an unsuspected adrenal mass was discovered by ultrasonography or computed tomography performed for unrelated reasons. Pathological diagnosis was available in 11 cases based on surgical excision in 9 (2 pheochromocytomas of 5 and 12 cm in diameter; 2 ganglioneuromas of 5 and 6 cm; and 5 benign cortical adenomas between 3 and 5 cm), autopsy in 1 (a disseminated malignant pheochromocytoma of 16 cm) and fine-needle biopsy in 1 (a pseudo-adrenal mass of 6 cm, that was a regenerative hepatic nodule). The remaining 6 non histologically diagnosed masses were less than 3 cm in diameter. Endocrine studies showed elevated urinary excretion of catecholamines, vanillylmandelic acid and metanephrines in the pheochromocytomas and borderline high values in ganglioneuromas. A low plasma renin activity was encountered in 2 operated cortical adenomas and 3 non operated incidentalomas. In 2 of the latters aldosterone serum levels were elevated and the final diagnoses respectively were Conn's adenoma and dexamethasone-suppressible hyperaldosteronism with bilateral nodular hyperplasia. An inappropriate cortisol secretion was documented in a cortical adenoma removed. Radio-cholesterol scintiscan showed unilateral or increased uptake on the side of adrenal mass (concordant uptake) in the 5 benign cortical adenomas removed and in 4 non operated incidentalomas. A decreased uptake on the side of the adrenal mass (discordant uptake) was found in the 2 ganglioneuromas while an indeterminate bilateral uptake was found in the 2 remaining non operated incidentalomas and in the pseudo-adrenal mass.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)131-137
Numero di pagine7
RivistaExperimental and Clinical Endocrinology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 1993


  • Adenoma
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catecholamines
  • Female
  • Ganglioneuroma
  • Hormones
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Selenium Radioisotopes
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


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