Bilateral adrenal myelolipoma in Cushing’s disease: a relook into the role of corticotropin in adrenal tumourigenesis

BMJ Case Reports 2016; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-214965

Partha Pratim Chakraborty, Rana Bhattacharjee, Pradip Mukhopadhyay, Subhankar Chowdhury

  1. Correspondence to Dr Partha Pratim Chakraborty,
  • Accepted 2 June 2016
  • Published 15 June 2016


Adrenal myelolipomas are infrequently encountered benign tumours of unknown aetiology.

In the majority of cases they are unilateral, and clinically and hormonally silent, only requiring periodic follow-up. However, bilateral adrenal myelolipomas are sometimes associated with endocrine disorders and warrant appropriate evaluation.

Though the understanding of the pathophysiology of adrenal myelolipomas has long been elusive, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) has been proposed as the main tropic factor in a number of studies. Cushing’s disease is rarely associated with bilateral and sometimes giant myelolipomas.

In this article, the association of bilateral adrenal myelolipomas with Cushing’s disease has been discussed and the role of ACTH in the tumourigenesis has been reviewed.


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