Journal List > J Korean Endocr Soc > v.22(4) > 1003372

Jeong, Kim, Kim, Kim, Shin, Park, Park, Jang, Kim, Cho, and Lee: Clinical Characteristics for 132 Patients with Adrenal Incidentaloma



Recently, the detection rate for adrenal incidentaloma in Korea has been on the increase. We describe here the clinical characteristics of these tumors and describe appropriate guidelines of diagnosis and treatment.


We analyzed age, sex, location, size, function, and the pathological findings for 132 patients with an adrenal mass by CT, USG, and MRI undertaken for health examinations or non-adrenal disease from January 2000 to March 2005.


Adrenal masses were most commonly found in patients in their sixties (31%). 62.1% of the patients were men and 37.9% were women. For the location of the masses, 53% were found in the left gland, 43.2% were found in the right gland and 3.8% were found in both glands. Of all of the masses analyzed, 66% were 1 cm to 4 cm in size, and an adenoma-like appearance was the most common finding (69.7%) seen in images. All of the pheochromocytomas and carcinomas were above 4 cm in size. Patients with a functional mass were seen in 18 cases (13.6%) and pheochromocytomas were seen in 12 cases (67%). Three patients were found with cancer (2.3%), two cases (1.5%) of a primary carcinoma and one case of a metastasis (0.8%).


The frequency and characteristics of benign nonfunctional, functional and malignant masses that were found in our hospital were similar to those presented in studies conducted outside of Korea. Therefore, it may be possible to apply previously established guidelines to domestic patients.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1
Distribution of functional mass. *HT, Hypertension.
Table 1
Distribution of clinical diagnosis by tumor size

*Others; nodular hyperplasia, ganglioneuroma or necrotic nodule.

Table 2
Hounsfield units (HU) according to mass on the CT finding
Table 3
Characteristics of 51 adrenal incidentaloma with a histopathologic diagnosis proven by surgery

*Metastatic tumor; GB cancer.

Others; nodular hyperplasia, ganglioneuroma, necrotic nodule.


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