An adrenal mass is an abnormal growth that develops in the adrenal gland. The exact cause of these masses is unclear why they form. They can develop in males and females but are more common in older individuals over the age of 60.
The main function of the adrenal gland is to regulate fluid and salt levels in the body that affect blood volume and blood pressure.
The medulla (inner part) of the adrenal gland secretes hormones such as adrenaline(epinephrine) or noradrenaline(norepinephrine). These hormones affect blood pressure, heart rate an perspiration (sweating).
The cortex (outer part) of the adrenal gland secrets the steroid hormones cortisol and aldosterone. These hormones affect blood pressure, sugar levels in the blood, salt and potassium levels, metabolism and sex hormones.
Adrenal Mass Signs & Symptoms
There are often no signs or symptoms to indicate an adrenal mass and they are most commonly found during imaging testing related to another problem.
Adrenal Mass Diagnosis
Imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT are the only definitive way to diagnose and confirm the presence on an adrenal mass. Once a diagnosis is made, blood work is completed as part of a full metabolic work up.
Adrenal Mass Treatment
Depending on the size and location of the mass most cases do not require any surgical intervention and are often monitored yearly through imaging and blood work. Larger more complex cases , although rare may require surgical removal of the mass.