To report the case of a 78-year-old woman with mixed corticomedullary carcinoma of the adrenal gland, and to review other reported lesions that exhibit clinical and/or histopathologic features of both adrenal cortical and medullary differentiation.
We describe the patient's clinical findings and laboratory test results, as well as the gross and histopathologic features of her tumor. We also review the literature pertaining to mixed corticomedullary adenomas and cortical tumors with clinical features of pheochromocytoma, and vice versa.
A 78-year-old woman with a 10-cm left adrenal mass was hospitalized for management of hypertensive urgency. Laboratory workup revealed elevated urinary metanephrine excretion and elevated serum dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate levels. She underwent left adrenalectomy. Pathologic examination of the lesion showed mixed cortical and medullary histologic characteristics, as well as gross and microscopic evidence of malignancy. Including the present case, we identified 17 cases of neoplasms that exhibit features of mixed corticomedullary differentiation.
This report represents the first documented case of mixed corticomedullary carcinoma. Several benign lesions combine clinical, biochemical, and/or histopathologic evidence of both adrenal cortical and medullary differentiation, including mixed corticomedullary adenomas and corticotropin-secreting pheochromocytomas. The differential diagnosis of a lesion with mixed cortical and medullary features should also include a malignant neoplasm.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A reappraisal of the major advances in the diagnostic pathology of adrenal cortical lesions and tumors in the last 25 years is presented, with special reference to the definition of malignancy in primary adrenal cancer and its variants. Slightly more than 25 years ago, Weiss proposed his diagnostic scoring system for adrenal cortical carcinoma. This represented a milestone for adrenal pathologists and the starting point for further modifications of the system, either through minor changes in the scoring procedure itself or concentrating on some particular Weiss criterion such as mitotic index, integrated into alternative scoring schemes or algorithms that are currently under validation. Improvements in diagnostic immunohistochemistry have led to the identification of markers of cortical origin, such as Melan-A, alpha-inhibin, and SF-1 and of prognostic factors in carcinoma, such as the Ki-67 proliferation index and SF-1 itself. With regard to hyperplastic conditions, genetic investigations have allowed the association of the majority of cases of primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD) in Carney complex to mutations in the gene encoding the regulatory subunit 1A of protein kinase A (PRKAR1A). Other hereditary conditions are also associated with adrenal cortical tumors, including the Li-Fraumeni, Beckwith-Wiedemann, Gardner, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, and neurofibromatosis type 1 syndromes. Moreover, several advances have been made in the knowledge of the molecular background of sporadic tumors, and a number of molecules/genes are of particular interest as potential diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histological diagnosis of adrenal tumors is often challenging as diverse groups of tumors, both primaries and metastatic, may be seen in the adrenal gland with overlapping morphological features. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) plays the most important role in their diagnosis. Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa), a rarely reported tumor in the adrenal gland, shares many features with another rare tumor sarcomatoid adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). Extensive immunohistochemical study is required to distinguish this tumor from adrenocortical carcinoma and from other morphologically similar tumors. The unique combination of immunoreactivity for melanocytic markers, such as HMB-45 and Melan A, and myogenic markers, such as smooth muscle actin, is the hallmark of PEComas biological behavior, and prognosis of malignant PEComas is yet to be fully understood. Few cases of malignant PEComa have been reported in the adrenal gland. We report a case of malignant PEComa of the adrenal gland posing diagnostic challenge and compare its morphological and immunohistochemical features with those of sarcomatoid ACC.
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