How is an adrenal tumor diagnosed?

Steven G. Eisenberg, DO
Hematology & Oncology

Most adrenal tumors are benign and discovered incidentally on a CT scan of the abdomen. Tumors greater than 4 cm are more suspicious for cancer. Some people present with Cushing's disease. A combination of CT scan characteristics, very specific hormone measurements and following the patient closely over time help distinguish between the benign "incidentaloma" versus malignant adrenocortical carcinoma.

    Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
    Transplant Surgery

    Adrenal tumors are generally suspected on a clinical basis or by history when someone presents with symptoms suggestive of "too much" horomone of some type. Presentation can include extremely high blood pressure which may be episodic, changes in hair distribution, flushing etc. These symptoms can trigger an MD to suspect an adrenal tumor.

    Adrenal tumors are also sometimes incidentally diagnosed when someone has imaging like a CT scan for some other reason. This can lead to a work up.

    Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
    Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
    Blood tests, head scans, and blood pressure measurement are three of the steps to diagnosing an adrenal tumor. Watch Dr. Oz talk more about this tumor is diagnosed.

    Continue Learning about Endocrine System

    Endocrine System

    Your endocrine system works with your nervous system to control important bodily functions. The endocrine systems responsibilities include regulating growth, sexual development and function, metabolism and mood. The endocrine syst...

    em also helps give your body the energy it needs to function properly. Endocrine glands secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones are considered chemical messengers, coordinating your body by transferring information from one set of cells to another. Your endocrine system health can be affected by hormone imbalances resulting from impaired glands. A hormone imbalance can cause problems with bodily growth, sexual development, metabolism and other bodily functions. Endocrine system diseases or conditions include diabetes, growth disorders and osteoporosis.

    Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.