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Definition

An adrenal incidentaloma is a mass on an adrenal gland. The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney.

Causes

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.

Symptoms

There are no symptoms.

Diagnosis

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.

Treatment

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

Prevention

There are not steps to lower the risk.

RESOURCES

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

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

CANADIAN RESOURCES

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

Health Canada  https://www.canada.ca 

References

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

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