1996 Volume 87 Issue 6 Pages 915-922
We reviewed 105 patients with adrenal tumor diagnosed at our institute from January 1984 to December 1993.
In 74 patients tumors were symptomatically diagnosed (the symptomatic group), while in the remaining 31 patients tumors were incidentally detected (the incidental group). In 5 cases of the incidental group, tumors were found at a routine health examination, whereas in the remaining 26 cases tumors were found during the examination or treatment for unrelated diseases.
On both the incidental group and symptomatic group, higher right-to-left side ratio was noted in the laterality of tumors detected by ultrasound scanning. The size of tumors in the incidental group was significantly larger than that in the symptomatic group, but there was no significant difference in size between the tumors detected by ultrasound and those detected by CT scan in either the symptomatic group or in the incidental group.
In the symptomatic group 71 patients (95.9%) were found to have functioning tumor, where the most common diagnosis was primary aldosteronism (44 cases), and 68 of the 71 patients received adrenalectomy.
While in the incidental group 12 patients (38.7%) were found to have functioning tumor, where the most common diagnosis was pheochromocytoma (7 cases), followed by Cushing's syndrome (3 cases) including one case with so-called pre-Cushing's syndrome, and all of the 12 patients received adrenalectomy. Of 16 primary incidental adrenal tumors which did not have any hormonal functions, 5 tumors larger than 30mm in diameter were resected and the remaining 11 tumors were followed up without operation. Since the incidence of incidental adrenal tumor may increase in the future, careful diagnosis and decision of indication for surgery are required.