It is well known that adrenal masses, particularly adenomas are frequently related to metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance. However, there are no reported data about the differences between adenomas and hyperplasia.
Authors examined the prevalence of symptoms of the metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in 25 patients with adrenal incidentalomas (10 men, 15 women) of the mean age 57.9+15 years. 15 patients had adrenal adenoma determined by CT or MR scan and 10 had unilateral or bilateral hyperplasia. The prevalence of obesity was 72%, arterial hypertension 60%, diabetes mellitus or impaired glucose tolerance 28%, hyperlipidemia 56% and hyperuricemia 20%, respectively, which is more frequent occurrence than that in normal human population. Patients with adrenal adenomas had mildly but significantly higher body mass index (BMI, P<0.05) and insulin resistance calculated as HOMA IR (P<0.05) and FIRI (P<0.05) and significantly higher values of serum ferritin (P<0.01). Plasma cortisol values were slightly but not significantly higher in the group with adrenal adenomas.
Authors conclude that adrenal adenomas are probably more related to the metabolic syndrome than adrenal hyperplasia.