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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.


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

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