by EBSCO Medical Review Board


An adrenal incidentaloma is a mass on an adrenal gland. 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 mass is found during testing for another reason. It can show on tests like x-rays, scans, or ultrasound. Blood and urine tests may then be done to look for changes.


Most adrenal masses will not need treatment. Surgery may be need if the mass is causing problems. The gland will be removed.


There are not steps to lower the risk.


The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons 

Hormone Health Network—Endocrine Society 


The College of Family Physicians of Canada 

Health Canada 


Adrenal incidentaloma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated January 23, 2019. Accessed May 10, 2019.

Adrenal incidentaloma. Hormone Health Network—The Endocrine Society website. Available at: Accessed May 10, 2019.

Adrenal incidentaloma. The American Association of Endocrine Surgeons website. Available at: 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: 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:

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Nicole Meregian, PA
  • Review Date: 05/2020
  • Update Date: 05/22/2020