Adrenal metastasis from small cell lung cancer

Case contributed by Chris O'Donnell


Breathlessness in an ex-smoker

Patient Data

Age: 75 years
Gender: Male

Complete left upper lobe collapse.

Endobronchial mass producing the lobar atelectasis and a large right adrenal mass. No other obvious metastatic lesions.


Nuclear medicine

PET-CT for staging of the probable lung malignancy. Marked FDG uptake associated with the left upper lobe bronchus producing the atelectasis as well as in the large right adrenal metastasis.

Ultrasound prior to guided biopsy


Solid mass lesion in the right adrenal gland with a heterogeneous echotexture.

Case Discussion

The adrenal is a favored metastatic site for lung cancer. Small cell lung cancers typically exhibit large, dispersed metastases with relatively small primaries, including lymphadenopathy but also visceral metastases.

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