What is adrenal incidentaloma?

Adrenal incidentaloma is a tumour of the adrenal glands, which, as the word says, is discovered by chance on an imaging test done for another reason.


How common is it?

Adrenal incidentalomas are found in 5% of imaging studies. However, their incidence reaches 10% in elderly individuals.


Is adrenal incidentaloma an adrenal cancer?

The majority of adrenal incidentalomas are benign tumours. A 2-5% of the incidentalomas are adrenal cancers.


What should I do if I am diagnosed with an adrenal incidentaloma?

If a patient is diagnosed with an adrenal incidentaloma, he/she should be referred to an endocrinologist to investigate whether the tumour is benign or malignant and whether it is hypersecreting some hormones that may be causing problems.


Νεφρά επινεφρίδια - Σύνδρομο Cushing - πρωτοπαθής υπεραλδοστερονισμός - τυχαίωμα επινεφριδίων

What are the signs and symptoms of an adrenal incidentaloma?

Usually incidentalomas are asymptomatic and do not secrete hormones. However, 10-15% of them secrete excess hormones, such as cortisol, aldosterone, or catecholamines. In this case, they may cause subclinical Cushing’s syndrome, primary hyperaldosteronism, or pheochromocytoma.


How is adrenal incidentaloma treated?

The treatment of an adrenal incidentaloma depends on whether it is functional (secretes excess hormones) or not and whether it is a benign or malignant tumour. And it may include:

  • Surgery
  • Drug treatment
  • Follow –up