Citation, DOI, disclosures and article data
At the time the article was created Frank Gaillard had no recorded disclosures.View Frank Gaillard's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Henry Knipe had the following disclosures:
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- Integral Diagnostics, Shareholder (ongoing)
- Micro-X Ltd, Shareholder (ongoing)
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An incidentaloma is a radiological neologism to denote a lesion found incidentally and of dubious clinical significance. Although it can refer to any incidental lesion (e.g. pituitary 3, thyroid 4), it is most often used to denote an incidental adrenal lesion, which is commonly an adrenal adenoma 1. Colloquially, some radiologists use the term interchangeably with adrenal adenoma, although clearly its use in a report would be confusing, and should be avoided. Most incidentalomas are asymptomatic.
If an incidental adrenal nodule is found, the Management of incidental adrenal masses: American College of Radiology white paper may be useful.
The likelihood of an incidental adrenal lesion being malignant is most strongly determined by the presence or absence of malignancy elsewhere. In cases where malignancy is present, up to 27% of incidental adrenal lesions represent adrenal metastases 6.
History and etymology
The word 'incidentaloma' first appears in the literature in 1982 in a paper by Glenn W Geelhoed (fl. 2019), a surgeon, and Edward M Druy (fl. 2019), a radiologist 8.
- 1. Dunnick N & Korobkin M. Imaging of Adrenal Incidentalomas: Current Status. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2002;179(3):559-68. doi:10.2214/ajr.179.3.1790559 - Pubmed
- 2. Roppolo H, Latchaw R, Meyer J, Curtin H. Normal Pituitary Gland: 1. Macroscopic Anatomy-CT Correlation. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 1983;4(4):927-35. PMC8333765 - Pubmed
- 3. Reincke M, Allolio B, Saeger W, Menzel J, Winkelmann W. The 'Incidentaloma' of the Pituitary Gland. Is Neurosurgery Required? JAMA. 1990;263(20):2772-6. - Pubmed
- 4. Kwak J, Kim E, Yun M et al. Thyroid Incidentalomas Identified by 18F-FDG PET: Sonographic Correlation. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008;191(2):598-603. doi:10.2214/AJR.07.3443 - Pubmed
- 6. Blake M, Holalkere N, Boland G. Imaging Techniques for Adrenal Lesion Characterization. Radiol Clin North Am. 2008;46(1):65-78, vi. doi:10.1016/j.rcl.2008.01.003 - Pubmed
- 7. Mayo-Smith W, Song J, Boland G et al. Management of Incidental Adrenal Masses: A White Paper of the ACR Incidental Findings Committee. J Am Coll Radiol. 2017;14(8):1038-44. doi:10.1016/j.jacr.2017.05.001 - Pubmed
- 8. Geelhoed G & Druy E. Management of the Adrenal "Incidentaloma". Surgery. 1982;92(5):866-74. - Pubmed
- Choyke P. Commentary on "Computed Tomography in the Diagnosis of Adrenal Disease" and "Nonfunctioning Adrenal Masses: Incidental Discovery on Computed Tomography". AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2009;192(3):568-70. doi:10.2214/AJR.08.1718 - Pubmed