Clinical practice. The incidentally discovered adrenal mass.

Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, Nutrition, and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 54.42). 03/2007; 356(6):601-10. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcp065470
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: With the steep increase in the use of cross-sectional imaging in recent years, the incidentally detected adrenal lesion, or "incidentaloma", has become an increasingly common diagnostic problem for the radiologist, and a need for an approach to classifying these lesions as benign, malignant or indeterminate with imaging has spurred an explosion of research. While most incidentalomas represent benign disease, typically an adenoma, the possibility of malignant involvement of the adrenal gland necessitates a reliance on imaging to inform management decisions. In this article, we review the literature on adrenal gland imaging, with particular emphasis on computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and photon-emission tomography, and discuss how these findings relate to clinical practice. Emerging technologies, such as contrast-enhanced ultrasonography, dual-energy computed tomography, and magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging will also be briefly addressed.
    Radiologia Brasileira 07/2014; 47(4):228-39. DOI:10.1590/0100-3984.2013.1762
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    ABSTRACT: The finding of an adrenal mass should induce a diagnostic work-up aimed at assessing autonomous hormone production and differentiating between benign and (potentially) malignant lesions. The common differential diagnosis in adrenal incidentaloma consists of (non-)functioning adenoma, pheochromocytoma, myelolipoma, metastasis, and primary carcinoma. There remains a category of lesions that are hormonally inactive and display nonspecific imaging characteristics. We provide a succinct literature review regarding pathologies from this category. Imaging and histological characteristics are discussed, as well as clinical management. In conclusion, an adrenal mass may present a diagnostic challenge. After exclusion of most common diagnoses, it can be difficult to differentiate between possible pathologies based on preoperative diagnostic tests. Surgical resection of possibly harmful tumors is indicated, for example, lesions with malignant potential or risk of spontaneous hemorrhage. Resection of an obviously benign lesion is not necessary, unless problems due to tumor size are expected.
    International Journal of Endocrinology 01/2015; 2015:710514. DOI:10.1155/2015/710514 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Overdiagnosis is the diagnosis of an abnormality that is not associated with a substantial health hazard and that patients have no benefit to be aware of. It is neither a misdiagnosis (diagnostic error), nor a false positive result (positive test in the absence of a real abnormality). It mainly results from screening, use of increasingly sensitive diagnostic tests, incidental findings on routine examinations, and widening diagnostic criteria to define a condition requiring an intervention. The blurring boundaries between risk and disease, physicians' fear of missing a diagnosis and patients' need for reassurance are further causes of overdiagnosis. Overdiagnosis often implies procedures to confirm or exclude the presence of the condition and is by definition associated with useless treatments and interventions, generating harm and costs without any benefit. Overdiagnosis also diverts healthcare professionals from caring about other health issues. Preventing overdiagnosis requires increasing awareness of healthcare professionals and patients about its occurrence, the avoidance of unnecessary and untargeted diagnostic tests, and the avoidance of screening without demonstrated benefits. Furthermore, accounting systematically for the harms and benefits of screening and diagnostic tests and determining risk factor thresholds based on the expected absolute risk reduction would also help prevent overdiagnosis.