ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2019) 63 P410 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.63.P410

Large adrenal incidentalomas require a dedicated diagnostic procedure

Vincent Amodru1, David Taieb2, Carole Guerin3, Nuncia Cinzia Paladino3, Thierry Brue1, Frederic Sebag3 & Frederic Castinetti1


1Department of endocrinology, Aix Marseille University, Marseille, France; 2Department of Nuclear Medicine, La Timone University Hospital, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France; 3Department of endocrine surgery, Aix Marseille University, Marseille, France.


Introduction: The management of large non secreting adrenal tumors (at least 4 cm) is still a matter of debate as it is unclear whether imaging, especially 18F-FDG, can be used to characterize their potential malignancy. Moreover, the risk of new hypersecretion in non-operated tumors is uncertain. Our aim was to better characterize these large adrenal incidentalomas.

Methods: Patients followed in our Center for a non-secreting large (at least 4 cm) adrenal incidentaloma, with an initial CT and 18F-FDG PET CT, were retrospectively included. Patients who were not operated after initial diagnosis had to be followed with clinical, biological and imaging evaluations for at least 3 years or till delayed surgery.

Results: 81 patients were included in the study: 44 patients (54.3%) had initial surgery while 37 were followed, including 21 (25.9%) who were operated after a mean of 19 months. Among the 65 operated patients, 13 (20%) had a malignant lesion (3 with metastasis, and 10 with adrenocortical carcinoma): unenhanced CT <10 showed 85.6% sensitivity and 78.8% specificity; all had a 18F-FDG uptake ratio >1.5. Among the 24 patients who were followed for at least 3 years, 5 (20.8%) finally presented hypercortisolism (4 subclinical).

Conclusions: As expected, large adrenal tumors are at higher risk of malignancy. The combination of unenhanced CT <10 and 18 F-FDG PET ratio <1.5 prove to be reassuring and might lead to a close follow-up rather than immediate surgery. Hormonal follow-up should be focused on the risk of hypercortisolism.

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