Adrenocortical Adenoma: A benign neoplasm of the ADRENAL CORTEX. It is characterized by a well-defined nodular lesion, usually less than 2.5 cm. Most adrenocortical adenomas are nonfunctional. The functional ones are yellow and contain LIPIDS. Depending on the cell type or cortical zone involved, they may produce ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and/or ANDROSTENEDIONE.Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms: Tumors or cancers of the ADRENAL CORTEX.Adenoma: A benign epithelial tumor with a glandular organization.Adrenocortical Carcinoma: A malignant neoplasm of the ADRENAL CORTEX. Adrenocortical carcinomas are unencapsulated anaplastic (ANAPLASIA) masses sometimes exceeding 20 cm or 200 g. They are more likely to be functional than nonfunctional, and produce ADRENAL CORTEX HORMONES that may result in hypercortisolism (CUSHING SYNDROME); HYPERALDOSTERONISM; and/or VIRILISM.Cushing Syndrome: A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) or other GLUCOCORTICOIDS from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body OBESITY; OSTEOPOROSIS; HYPERTENSION; DIABETES MELLITUS; HIRSUTISM; AMENORRHEA; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN and those that are ACTH-independent.Adrenal Cortex: The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It is derived from MESODERM and comprised of three zones (outer ZONA GLOMERULOSA, middle ZONA FASCICULATA, and inner ZONA RETICULARIS) with each producing various steroids preferentially, such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE. Adrenal cortex function is regulated by pituitary ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN.17-Hydroxycorticosteroids: A group of hydroxycorticosteroids bearing a hydroxy group at the 17-position. Urinary excretion of these compounds is used as an index of adrenal function. They are used systemically in the free alcohol form, but with esterification of the hydroxy groups, topical effectiveness is increased.Adrenal Cortex Diseases: Pathological processes of the ADRENAL CORTEX.Adrenalectomy: Excision of one or both adrenal glands. (From Dorland, 28th ed)Adrenal Gland Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the ADRENAL GLANDS.Hyperaldosteronism: A condition caused by the overproduction of ALDOSTERONE. It is characterized by sodium retention and potassium excretion with resultant HYPERTENSION and HYPOKALEMIA.Hydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Adrenal Cortex Function Tests: Examinations that evaluate and monitor hormone production in the adrenal cortex.Progesterone Reductase: An enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of a 3 beta-hydroxy-delta(5)-steroid to 3-oxo-delta(4)-steroid in the presence of NAD. It converts pregnenolone to progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone to androstenedione. EC 18.104.22.168.Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase: A microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 17-alpha-hydroxylation of progesterone or pregnenolone and subsequent cleavage of the residual two carbons at C17 in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP17 gene, generates precursors for glucocorticoid, androgen, and estrogen synthesis. Defects in CYP17 gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL) and abnormal sexual differentiation.Aldosterone: A hormone secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX that regulates electrolyte and water balance by increasing the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium.Incidental Findings: Unanticipated information discovered in the course of testing or medical care. Used in discussions of information that may have social or psychological consequences, such as when it is learned that a child's biological father is someone other than the putative father, or that a person tested for one disease or disorder has, or is at risk for, something else.Mitotane: A derivative of the insecticide DICHLORODIPHENYLDICHLOROETHANE that specifically inhibits cells of the adrenal cortex and their production of hormones. It is used to treat adrenocortical tumors and causes CNS damage, but no bone marrow depression.Pheochromocytoma: A usually benign, well-encapsulated, lobular, vascular tumor of chromaffin tissue of the ADRENAL MEDULLA or sympathetic paraganglia. The cardinal symptom, reflecting the increased secretion of EPINEPHRINE and NOREPINEPHRINE, is HYPERTENSION, which may be persistent or intermittent. During severe attacks, there may be HEADACHE; SWEATING, palpitation, apprehension, TREMOR; PALLOR or FLUSHING of the face, NAUSEA and VOMITING, pain in the CHEST and ABDOMEN, and paresthesias of the extremities. The incidence of malignancy is as low as 5% but the pathologic distinction between benign and malignant pheochromocytomas is not clear. (Dorland, 27th ed; DeVita Jr et al., Cancer: Principles & Practice of Oncology, 3d ed, p1298)Adrenocortical Hyperfunction: Excess production of ADRENAL CORTEX HORMONES such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and/or ANDROSTENEDIONE. Hyperadrenal syndromes include CUSHING SYNDROME; HYPERALDOSTERONISM; and VIRILISM.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Dexamethasone: An anti-inflammatory 9-fluoro-glucocorticoid.Adenoma, Pleomorphic: A benign, slow-growing tumor, most commonly of the salivary gland, occurring as a small, painless, firm nodule, usually of the parotid gland, but also found in any major or accessory salivary gland anywhere in the oral cavity. It is most often seen in women in the fifth decade. Histologically, the tumor presents a variety of cells: cuboidal, columnar, and squamous cells, showing all forms of epithelial growth. (Dorland, 27th ed)Adenoma, Villous: An adenoma of the large intestine. It is usually a solitary, sessile, often large, tumor of colonic mucosa composed of mucinous epithelium covering delicate vascular projections. Hypersecretion and malignant changes occur frequently. (Stedman, 25th ed)Tomography, X-Ray Computed: Tomography using x-ray transmission and a computer algorithm to reconstruct the image.Pituitary Neoplasms: Neoplasms which arise from or metastasize to the PITUITARY GLAND. The majority of pituitary neoplasms are adenomas, which are divided into non-secreting and secreting forms. Hormone producing forms are further classified by the type of hormone they secrete. Pituitary adenomas may also be characterized by their staining properties (see ADENOMA, BASOPHIL; ADENOMA, ACIDOPHIL; and ADENOMA, CHROMOPHOBE). Pituitary tumors may compress adjacent structures, including the HYPOTHALAMUS, several CRANIAL NERVES, and the OPTIC CHIASM. Chiasmal compression may result in bitemporal HEMIANOPSIA.Adenoma, Liver Cell: A benign epithelial tumor of the LIVER.Steroid 11-beta-Hydroxylase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 11-beta-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11B1 gene, is important in the synthesis of CORTICOSTERONE and HYDROCORTISONE. Defects in CYP11B1 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Cosyntropin: A synthetic peptide that is identical to the 24-amino acid segment at the N-terminal of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE. ACTH (1-24), a segment similar in all species, contains the biological activity that stimulates production of CORTICOSTEROIDS in the ADRENAL CORTEX.Zona Fasciculata: The wide middle zone of the adrenal cortex. This zone produces a series of enzymes that convert PREGNENOLONE to cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) via 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYPROGESTERONE.Adrenal Insufficiency: Conditions in which the production of adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS falls below the requirement of the body. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by defects in the ADRENAL GLANDS, the PITUITARY GLAND, or the HYPOTHALAMUS.
Adrenocortical adenoma: A adrenocortical adenoma (or adrenal cortical adenoma) is a benign tumor of the adrenal cortex.Thyroid adenomaAdrenocortical carcinomaCushing reflex: Cushing reflex (also referred to as the vasopressor response, the Cushing effect, the Cushing reaction, the Cushing phenomenon, the Cushing response, or Cushing's Law) is a physiological nervous system response to increased intracranial pressure (ICP) that results in Cushing's triad of increased blood pressure, irregular breathing, and a reduction of the heart rate. It is usually seen in the terminal stages of acute head injury and may indicate imminent brain herniation.Adrenal tumorAldosterone-to-renin ratio: Aldosterone-to-renin ratio (ARR) is the mass concentration of aldosterone divided by the plasma renin activity in blood plasma. The aldosterone/renin ratio is recommended as screening tool for primary hyperaldosteronism.Alcohol and cortisol: Recent research has looked into the effects of alcohol on the amount of cortisol that is produced in the human body. Continuous consumption of alcohol over an extended period of time has been shown to raise cortisol levels in the body.Absent adrenal glandAldosterone escape: In physiology, aldosterone escape is a term that has been used to refer to two distinct phenomena involving aldosterone that are exactly opposite each other:Incidentaloma: In medicine, an incidentaloma is a tumor ([found by coincidence (incidentally) without clinical symptom]s or suspicion. Like other types of [[incidental findings, it is found during the course of examination and imaging for other reasons.PheochromocytomaAdrenocortical hyperfunctionDense artery sign: In medicine, the dense artery sign or hyperdense artery sign is a radiologic sign seen on computer tomography (CT) scans suggestive of early ischemic stroke. In earlier studies of medical imaging in patients with strokes, it was the earliest sign of ischemic stroke in a significant minority of cases.Pituitary adenomaCritical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency: Critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency (CIRCI) is a form of adrenal insufficiency in critically ill patients who have blood corticosteroid levels which are inadequate for the severe stress response they experience. Combined with decreased glucocorticoid receptor sensitivity and tissue response to corticosteroids, this adrenal insufficiency constitutes a negative prognostic factor for intensive care patients.
(1/137) Primary aldosteronism with aldosterone-producing adrenal adenoma in a pregnant woman.
A 30-year-old pregnant woman complained of muscle weakness at 29 weeks' gestation. She was hypertensive with severe hypokalemia. Lower plasma renin activity and higher aldosterone level than the normal values in pregnancy suggested primary aldosteronism. A cesarean delivery was performed at 31 weeks' gestation because of pulmonary congestion. The neonatal course was uncomplicated. The laparoscopic adrenalectomy for a 2.0-cm right adrenal adenoma resulted in normalizing of her blood pressure and serum potassium level. Although primary aldosteronism is rare, especially during pregnancy, it should be always considered as one of etiologies of hypertension in pregnancy. (+info)
(2/137) The expression of inhibin/activin subunits in the human adrenal cortex and its tumours.
Inhibins and activins are dimeric proteins of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily which have been shown to be expressed in the adrenal cortex. Recent studies have suggested a role for these peptides in the pathogenesis and/or function of adrenal tumours. To investigate further their physiological and pathological roles, we have documented immunoreactivity for inhibin alpha, betaA and betaB subunits in normal adult and fetal human adrenals, in hyperplastic adrenals and in adrenal tumours. In the normal and hyperplastic adult gland, diffuse immunopositivity was demonstrated for beta subunits, suggesting that activins (beta beta dimers) can be expressed in all zones. Inhibin alpha was limited to the zona reticularis and the innermost zona fasciculata in the normal gland, extending centripetally into the zona fasciculata in hyperplasia, supporting a role for ACTH in the regulation of expression, and suggesting that expression of inhibins (alpha beta dimers) is restricted. Immunopositivity for all three subunits was seen in both fetal and definitive zones of the fetal cortex, indicating that both inhibins and activins could be expressed in both. Immunopositivity for all three subunits was seen in most adrenocortical tumours. Loss of immunopositivity for inhibin alpha in a subgroup of carcinomas might indicate a role in tumour progression. The greater intensity of staining for inhibin alpha in tumours associated with Cushing's syndrome again suggests a link with cortisol production. (+info)
(3/137) Analysis of genomic alterations in sporadic adrenocortical lesions. Gain of chromosome 17 is an early event in adrenocortical tumorigenesis.
Genetic changes underlying the tumorigenesis of sporadic adrenocortical tumors are poorly characterized. To search for characteristic genomic imbalances involved in adrenocortical tumors, we examined 41 adrenocortical lesions (12 carcinomas, 23 adenomas, and 6 hyperplasias) by comparative genomic hybridization. Our results show that genetic alterations are more frequent in malignant than in benign lesions and that they rarely occur in hyperplastic lesions. The most frequent DNA copy number changes in adrenocortical carcinomas included losses of 1p21-31, 2q, 3p, 3q, 6q, 9p, and 11q14-qter, as well as gains and amplifications of 5q12, 9q32-qter, 12q, and 20q. The genomic aberrations prevalently occurring in adrenocortical adenomas were gains of 17q, 17p, and 9q32-qter. Gains found in 2 of 6 adrenocortical hyperplastic lesions involved chromosome 17 or 17q only. These data indicate that oncogenes determining the early tumorigenesis of adrenocortical tumors may exist on chromosome 17 and that the number of genomic alterations is closely associated with tumor behavior in adrenocortical tumors. (+info)
(4/137) Recurrence of adrenal aldosterone-producing adenoma.
Conn's syndrome (adrenal aldosterone-producing adenoma) and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia are the most common causes of primary aldosteronism. The treatment of choice for patients with aldosterone-producing adenoma is unilateral total adrenalectomy. Recurrence after adequate surgery is exceptional. We present a patient with recurrence of an aldosterone-producing adenoma in the right adrenal gland 9 years after adenomectomy of a aldosterone-producing adenoma in the same adrenal gland. We conclude that adenomectomy is not an adequate therapy for patients with adrenal aldosterone-producing adenoma. (+info)
(5/137) PET imaging of adrenal cortical tumors with the 11beta-hydroxylase tracer 11C-metomidate.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate PET with the tracer 11C-metomidate as a method to identify adrenal cortical lesions. METHODS: PET with 11C-metomidate was performed in 15 patients with unilateral adrenal mass confirmed by CT. All patients subsequently underwent surgery, except 2 who underwent biopsy only. The lesions were histopathologically examined and diagnosed as adrenal cortical adenoma (n = 6; 3 nonfunctioning), adrenocortical carcinoma (n = 2), and nodular hyperplasia (n = 1). The remaining were noncortical lesions, including 1 pheochromocytoma, 1 myelolipoma, 2 adrenal cysts, and 2 metastases. RESULTS: All cortical lesions were easily identified because of exceedingly high uptake of 11C-metomidate, whereas the noncortical lesions showed very low uptake. High uptake was also seen in normal adrenal glands and in the stomach. The uptake was intermediate in the liver and low in other abdominal organs. Images obtained immediately after tracer injection displayed high uptake in the renal cortex and spleen. The tracer uptake in the cortical lesions increased throughout the examination. For quantitative evaluation of tracer binding in individual lesions, a model with the splenic radioactivity concentration assigned to represent nonspecific uptake was applied. Values derived with this method, however, did show the same specificity as the simpler standardized uptake value concept, with similar difference observed for cortical versus noncortical lesions. CONCLUSION: PET with 11C-metomidate has the potential to be an attractive method for the characterization of adrenal masses with the ability to discriminate lesions of adrenal cortical origin from noncortical lesions. (+info)
(6/137) Expression of inhibin alpha in adrenocortical tumours reflects the hormonal status of the neoplasm.
Inhibins are gonadal glycoprotein hormones whose main endocrine function is to inhibit pituitary FSH secretion. In addition to testes and ovaries, other steroid-producing organs are sites of inhibin alpha subunit expression. To study the role of inhibins in human adrenal gland, we screened a panel of 150 adrenals (10 normal adrenals, 25 adrenocortical hyperplasias, 65 adrenocortical adenomas, 30 adrenocortical carcinomas and 20 phaeochromocytomas) for inhibin alpha expression. mRNA levels of inhibin alpha subunit were studied in 57 samples and all tissues were stained immunohistochemically with an inhibin alpha subunit-specific antibody. Inhibin alpha mRNA was detected in all adrenocortical tissues. Virilizing adenomas possessed a 10-fold higher median inhibin alpha mRNA expression than did normal adrenals. Bilaterally and nodularly hyperplastic adrenals and other than virilizing adrenocortical tumours had their median inhibin alpha mRNA levels close to those of normal adrenals. Immunohistochemically, inhibin alpha subunit was detectable in all normal and hyperplastic adrenals, as well as in 73% of the adrenocortical tumours. However, the percentage of inhibin alpha-positive cells varied greatly in different tumour types. The median percentage of positive cells was 10 in non-functional and Conn's adenomas, 30 in Cushing's adenomas and 75 in virilizing adenomas. In malignant adrenocortical tumours the median percentage of inhibin alpha-immunopositive cells was 20 in non-functional carcinomas, 30 in Conn's carcinomas, 65 in Cushing's carcinomas and 75 in virilizing carcinomas. All phaeochromocytomas were negative for inhibin alpha subunit both at the mRNA level and immunohistochemically. Our data show that inhibin alpha subunit is highly expressed in both normal and neoplastic androgen-producing adrenocortical cells, with less expression in cortisol-producing and hardly any in aldosterone-producing cells. This suggests a specific role for inhibins in the regulation of adrenal androgen production. We did not find any significant difference in inhibin alpha expression between benign and malignant adrenocortical tumours. Thus inhibin alpha gene does not seem to have a tumour suppressor role in human adrenal cortex. (+info)
(7/137) Molecular analysis of CDKN1C and TP53 in sporadic adrenal tumors.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the roles of the CDKN1C (P57KIP2) gene, which encodes for the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor CDNC, and the TP53 tumor suppressor gene in adrenal tumorigenesis, as a means of investigating the molecular basis of sporadic adrenal tumors, which is unknown. DESIGN: Screening for the presence CDKN1C and TP53 mutations and analyzing the expression pattern of CDNC, P53 and its downstream effector CDN1 (P21WAF1/CIP1) in a series of 79 sporadic adrenal tumors. METHODS: Single-strand conformation polymorphism and sequencing were used for mutation analysis of CDKN1C and TP53 in blood and adrenal tissue samples. In a subgroup of 48 tissues, CDKN1C expression was evaluated by RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Immunohistochemical analysis of P53 and CDN1 was performed. RESULTS: No somatic mutations of CDKN1C were found in the tumors analyzed, in spite of low/absent CDNC expression in adrenocortical adenomas and carcinomas. Mutations in the TP53 gene were present in 70% of adrenocortical carcinomas, associated with abnormal P53 and CDN1 expression, but not in benign neoplasms. In the normal adrenal cortex, CDNC expression was strictly nuclear and confined to the cortical zone (i.e. zona glomerulosa and reticularis), with no staining in the medulla. CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in the TP53 gene are frequent in adrenocortical carcinomas and might be used as a marker of malignancy. In the normal adrenal cortex, the zone-specific pattern of expression of CDNC suggests a role in adrenal differentiation. (+info)
(8/137) Localization of the endothelin system in aldosterone-producing adenomas.
Endothelin-1 (ET-1) could play a role in the regulation of aldosterone secretion of the human adrenal gland. The presence of the endothelin-converting enzyme 1 (ECE-1) and ET-1 suggests that there is a local ET system in the adrenal cortex, but the in situ synthesis of ET-1 remains to be confirmed. The cellular distribution of the whole ET system was evaluated in 20 cases of aldosterone-producing adenomas. Polymerase chain reaction studies gave strong signals for ECE-1 mRNA and the mRNAs for endothelin type A (ET(A)) and B (ET(B)) receptors and faint signals for prepro-ET-1 mRNA. In situ hybridization showed ET(A) receptors scattered throughout the adenoma, in both secretory cells and vascular structures (score, +). There were more ET(B) receptors (score, ++), but they were restricted mainly to the endothelium. ECE-1 mRNA and protein were ubiquitous and abundant in secretory cells (score, +++) and vascular structures (score, ++); the enzyme was active on big ET-1. There was no prepro-ET-1 mRNA in the cortex, except in the thickened precapillary arterioles present in only 30% of the aldosterone-producing adenomas studied. ET-1 immunoreactivity was detected in vascular structures (score, +), probably bound to receptors, suggesting that ET-1 has an endocrine action. The low concentrations of ET-1 could also indicate that it acts in a paracrine-autocrine fashion to control adrenal blood flow. The discrepancy between the concentrations of ECE-1 and its substrate suggests that ECE-1 has another role in the adrenal secretory cells. Our data indicate that ET probably is not a primary cause of the development or maintenance of the adenoma. (+info)
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