Case Report Shows Rare Adrenal Tumors Associated with Cushing’s Disease

Pituitary tumors that produce too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) have been associated with the development of rare tumors on the adrenal glands, called adrenal myelolipomas, for the first time in a case report.

The study, “Case report of a bilateral adrenal myelolipoma associated with Cushing disease,” was published in the journal Medicine.

Myelolipomas, composed of mature fat cells and blood-forming cells, are usually asymptomatic and do not produce hormones. In many cases, these tumors are detected by accident when patients undergo imaging scans for other conditions.

The cause of these tumors is unknown, but due to their benign nature, they do not spread to other parts of the body. However, they can grow up to 34 centimeters (about 13 inches), leading to tissue death and hemorrhage.

Researchers at Soon Chun Hyang University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, described the case of a 52-year-old man with myelolipoma possibly caused by an ACTH-secreting pituitary tumor.

During a routine checkup, researchers detected a mass in the patient’s spleen. Further abdominal evaluations identified tissue lesions in both adrenal glands consistent with myelolipoma. Besides the masses, the patient did not show any other Cushing-associated physical characteristics.

However, the patient’s ACTH levels were two times higher than the normal upper limit. Cortisol levels were also increased and unresponsive to low-dose dexamethasone treatment.

No additional lesions were found that could help explain the high ACTH and cortisol levels. But analysis of blood samples collected from the veins draining the pituitary glands revealed the right gland was producing too much ACTH, strongly suggesting Cushing’s disease.

Both the left adrenal gland and pituitary tumor were surgically removed. The samples collected during surgery confirmed the benign nature of the adrenal tumors, and the diagnosis of abnormal, ACTH-positive pituitary gland tissue.

Three days after the surgeries, hormone levels were back to normal. But a follow-up evaluation five months later again showed increased ACTH levels. Cortisol levels, however, were normal.

For the next seven years, the patient was evaluated every six months. During a five-year period, the size of the right adrenal gland was found to have grown. Imaging analysis confirmed the existence of small, new lesions in both pituitary glands.

“This case confers valuable information about the clinical course of adrenal myelolipoma associated with Cushing disease,” the researchers said. It also “supports the notion that ACTH can be associated with the development of bilateral adrenal myelolipomas.”

From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/03/08/bilateral-adrenal-myelolipoma-associated-with-cushing-disease-case-report/

Pituitary adenoma growth rate influenced by multiple factors

Monsalves E. J. Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013; doi: 10. 1210/jc.2013-3054.

The etiology of pituitary adenoma growth rate is multifactorial and may be influenced by patient age and gender, as well as adenoma subtype, hormonal activity, immunohistological profile and the direction of growth relative to the pituitary fossa, according to results of a retrospective study.

Researchers evaluated pre- and postoperative pituitary adenoma (PA) traits in relation to patient demographics, MRI specifications and histopathological factors. They examined 153 patients who underwent surgery for removal of a histologically-proven PA at Toronto Western Hospital between 1999 and 2011.

All patients had at least two preoperative and two postoperative MRIs to measure tumor volume doubling time. Both scans were completed a minimum of 3 months apart.

Patients all underwent a sella/pituitary imaging protocol, and volume was determined using partitioning and target volume software. Each patient was also reviewed by two endocrine pathologists, and standardized diagnostic synoptic pathology reports provided information on MIB-1 labeling index, p27 and N-terminally truncated fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4). Growth direction patterns were classified as superior, anterior, posterior and lateral in relation to the sellar fossa.

The researchers found a relationship between preoperative growth rate and age (P=.0001), as well as suprasellar growth (P=.003), existence of a cyst or hemorrhage (P= .004), the MIB-1 (P=.005), FGFR4 positivity (P=.047) and p27 negativity (P=.007).

Postoperatively, 34.6% of patients demonstrated residual volumes, while the remaining 100 patients did not. Residual volume was found to be associated with older patient age (57 vs. 51, P=.038), as well as growth patterns, including anterior, posterior, suprasellar and cavernous sinus extension (P=.001). There was a correlation between pre-and postoperative growth rates (r=0.497, P=.026). The rates of postoperative growth were linked with age (P=.015) and gender (P= .017).

“Due to the heterogeneity of PA, no single predictor of PA growth behavior can be taken in isolation as a means to predict its outcome,” the researchers wrote.  “These predictors must be combined in order to formulate the most accurate estimation of PA growth, which in turn will inform sound clinical management.”

Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.

From http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/neuroendocrinology/news/online/%7B7cb2ec5d-eaa6-42a3-b279-2c2436d0fbd0%7D/pituitary-adenoma-growth-rate-influenced-by-multiple-factors

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