Author(s): Scaroni C, Selice R, Benedini S, De Menis E, Arosio M,
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Abstract Acromegaly is associated with a greater morbidity and higher incidence of tumors, possibly due to the permissive role of elevated GH and IGF-I levels. In the general population, adrenal masses are frequently discovered (prevalence 1-5\%) at computed tomography (CT). We evaluated the prevalence of adrenal lesions in patients with acromegaly. We studied 94 acromegalic patients, 54 females (mean age 55.0+/-16.0 yr) and 40 males (mean age 50+/-14 yr) referred to 5 Endocrinology Units between 2001-2003; 49 had active disease and 45 had been treated with surgery and/or were controlled with medical therapy. Abdominal CT showed adrenal lesions in 27 patients; 9 of them had unilateral masses (10\%) with benign features (diameter 0.5-3 cm) and 18 had hyperplasia (14 monolateral and 4 bilateral), with no significant differences between patients with active vs controlled disease, and with no correlation between prevalence of masses and duration of disease, GH and IGF-I levels. Hormone study (urinary free cortisol, catecholamines/metanephrines, upright plasma renin activity and aldosterone, morning plasma ACTH and low-dose dexamethasone suppression test) disclosed no major endocrine alterations. During a 1-yr follow-up, the adrenal masses increased in size in 3 cases and 1 patient also developed subclinical Cushing's syndrome. Adrenal lesions seem more frequent in acromegaly than in the general population, but no single factor (GH/IGF-I levels or disease duration) predicts them. The masses appear to be benign and nonhypersecreting, but a longer follow-up is recommended to disclose any changes in their morphofunctional state.
This article was published in J Endocrinol Invest
and referenced in Endocrinology & Metabolic Syndrome