Public Release:  Incidental adrenal masses commonly seen on CT are usually benign; no follow-up needed

American College of Radiology

Incidental adrenal masses seen on abdominal CT scans of low-risk patients are almost always benign and do not need any imaging follow-up, according to a large study of patients. This finding is significant because incidental adrenal lesions are seen in about 5% of CT examinations, study authors say.

The study included 973 patients with 1,049 adrenal masses, who had no history of malignancy or clinical suspicion of a hormonally active adrenal mass, said Julie H. Song, MD, lead author of the study. All masses were confirmed as benign either histopathologically, by imaging follow-up or clinical follow-up, said Dr. Song. Most of the lesions (75%) were adenomas (benign tumors of the adrenal glands), she said. The second most common mass was myelolipomas. "Myelolipomas were found in 6% of the patients, which makes it more common than previously thought," Dr. Song said.

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The study appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology, published by the American Roentgen Ray Society.

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