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An adrenal incidentaloma is a mass on an adrenal gland. It is found during image testing for a different problem. The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney.


It may be caused by the gland making too much hormone. It may also be caused by tumors or cysts.

Risk Factors

Family history may raise the risk in some people.


There are no symptoms.


The image testing that was done is used to diagnose this problem. Blood and urine tests will also be done.


Most people do not need to be treated. Surgery may be done to remove a gland that is causing problems.


There is no way to lower the risk of this health problem.


The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons  http://endocrinediseases.org 

Hormone Health Network—Endocrine Society  https://www.hormone.org 


The College of Family Physicians of Canada  https://www.cfpc.ca 

Health Canada  https://www.canada.ca 


Adrenal incidentaloma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T902034/Adrenal-incidentaloma . Updated January 23, 2019. Accessed May 10, 2019.

Adrenal incidentaloma. Hormone Health Network—The Endocrine Society website. Available at: https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/adrenal/adrenal-incidentaloma. Accessed May 10, 2019.

Adrenal incidentaloma. The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons website. Available at: http://endocrinediseases.org/adrenal/incidentaloma.shtml. Accessed May 10, 2019.

Nieman LK. Approach to the patient with an adrenal incidentaloma. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010;95(9):4106-4113.

Nonfunctional adrenal masses. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/endocrine-and-metabolic-disorders/adrenal-disorders/nonfunctional-adrenal-masses. Updated January 2018. Accessed May 10, 2019.

Remer EM, Casalino DD, Bishoff JT, et al. Incidentally discovered adrenal mass. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria. Available at: https://acsearch.acr.org/docs/69366/Narrative.

Revision Information

  • Review Date: 05/2019
  • Update Date: 05/22/2020