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Adrenal tumors in patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms.

Endocrine 2024 April 7
PURPOSE: To study the prevalence of primary adrenal tumors and adrenal metastases in patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) and describe these in detail. NENs can be further divided into neuroendocrine tumor (NET) and neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC).

METHODS: A review of medical files was conducted for all patients who underwent a 68 Gallium-DOTATOC-PET/CT during 2010-2023 or adrenalectomy during 1999-2023 at the Karolinska University Hospital.

RESULTS: In total, 68 Gallium-DOTATOC-PET/CT was performed on 1750 individuals with NEN, among whom 12 (0.69%) had adrenal tumors. Of these, 9 (0.51%) were NEN metastases. Out of 1072 adrenalectomies, 4 (0.37%) showed evidence of NEN metastases. Thus, 16 patients with NEN exhibited adrenal tumors. The adrenal tumors were found on average 5 years after the NEN diagnosis and 19% of the adrenal tumors with simultaneous NEN were benign. Few had all adrenal hormones measured. None had an adrenal insufficiency nor an adrenal biopsy. Another synchronous metastasis was found in 69% at the time of the adrenal tumor discovery. During the median 2-year follow-up, 38% of the subjects had deceased (with the exclusion of individuals presenting supposedly benign adrenal tumors 31%) all due to tumor complications. A comparison between individuals identified through 68 Gallium-DOTATOC-PET/CT and those who underwent adrenalectomy revealed a higher prevalence of NETs in the former group and NECs in the latter group.

CONCLUSION: Adrenal primary tumors and adrenal metastases are infrequent occurrences in patients with NEN. Most cases involved the presence of NEN metastasis upon the initial discovery of adrenal tumors. The overall prognosis was found to be favorable.

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