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Adrenal adenoma - Definition


An adrenal adenoma is a benign tumor of the adrenal gland. It can be unilateral or bilateral, i.e. touch one or two glands located above each kidney. In some cases, the adenoma may cause Cushing's syndrome, resulting in the increased secretion of the hormone normally produced by the adrenal glands, cortisol.


Symptoms of adrenal adenoma may be absent if the adenoma does not affect the part of the adrenal gland secreting hormones. Also, the diagnosis of adrenal adenoma without clinical impact is mostly done by chance, through abdominal imaging or an assay that will show increased blood hormones secreted by the adenoma. If overproduction of cortisol occurs, the clinical signs of hypersecretion correspond to Cushing's syndrome. This syndrome is highlighted by hormonal assays via a blood test. Some tests require taking a drug and scheduling assays at different times.


Cushing's syndrome is manifested by, among other symptoms, prominent obesity at the stomach, the neck and trunk, a round red face, hypertension, muscle atrophy, genital failure, and fragile and thin skin with purple stretch marks.


Treatment of adrenal adenoma is usually surgical, with the removal of the tumor or gland. Certain drugs can sometimes be used to avoid surgery.


It is impossible to prevent an adrenal adenoma, as we do not yet know the exact causes and predisposing factors. Just be aware that the probability of developing such a tumor increases with age.