Adrenal hyperplasia

Last revised by Ammar Ashraf on 16 Apr 2023

Adrenal hyperplasia refers to non-malignant growth (enlargement) of the adrenal glands and is a rare cause of ACTH-independent Cushing syndrome, with unilateral adrenal cortical adenomas being the commonest. Approximately 20% of Conn syndrome cases are secondary to adrenal hyperplasia. In diffuse hyperplasia, the limbs of the adrenal glands are >5 cm in length and >10 mm in thickness. It may be unilateral in some situations 6.

Adrenal hyperplasia can be classified according to:

  • enlarged limbs of one or both adrenal glands >10 mm thick
  • normal adrenal morphology maintained
  • nodular or uniform
  • high lipid content and thus may demonstrate signal dropout on out-of-phase chemical shift imaging
  • signal dropout due to lipid content overlaps with adrenal cortical adenomas

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: due to thymic carcinoid tumor
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  • Case 2: congenital adrenal hyperplasia with testicular adrenal rest tumor (TART)
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