Endocrine Journal
Online ISSN : 1348-4540
Print ISSN : 0918-8959
ISSN-L : 0918-8959
An adrenal incidentaloma that had appeared to produce dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate in excess before immunohistochemical study of the tumor
Toshihide YamamotoTakuma KimuraYuki KuboShin-ichi NakatsukaHiromasa HaradaTakashi SuzukiHironobu Sasano
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2023 Volume 70 Issue 1 Pages 43-46


Adrenal incidentaloma is a clinically unapparent adrenal mass more than one cm in diameter detected during imaging performed not for adrenal disease. A 34-year-old man was evaluated for AI with a diameter of 3.5 cm in the left adrenal. He was obese with body mass index of 33,9. Blood pressure was 110–120/90 mmHg. The general laboratory tests were unremarkable. An adrenal hormone screening set revealed that ACTH was 6.9 pg/mL, cortisol 14.9 μg/dL, renin activity 0.9 ng/mL/h, aldosterone 79.4 pg/mL, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate (DHEA-S) measured on two occasions 5,217 ng/mL and 6,477 ng/mL (gender- and age-adjusted reference values, 1,060–4,640 ng/mL). The levels of metanephrine and normetanephrine were normal. The tumor was thought to produce solely DHEA-S. The excised left adrenal tissue contained a tumor with a diameter of 26 mm and neighboring adrenal tissue. The tumor consisted mostly of acidophil cells without necrosis, capsular or vascular invasion, and mitosis. Immunohistochemical study revealed followings: the cells of the tumors were stained positive for 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, and 17α-hydroxylase, and 11β-hydroxylase, weakly positive for DHEA sulphotransferase, and negative for aldosterone synthetase. The atrophy of neighboring tissue was presumably caused by excess cortisol production. Four months after surgery, the cortisol level was 11.2 μg/dL and DHEA-S level 1,462 ng/mL. The tumor is considered to be a cortisol-producing adenoma with modestly excessive DHEA-S production rather than isolated DHEA-S-producing adenoma. Immunohistochemical study of steroidogenic enzymes is a valuable addition to blood hormone measurement to clarify steroid production profile.

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