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Sung Hye Kong, Jung Hee Kim, and Chan Soo Shin


To identify radiologic features that correlate with mild autonomous cortisol excess using planar and volumetric analysis.


Cross-sectional study.


In the study, 64 patients with overt Cushing syndrome (CS), 59 patients with mild autonomous cortisol excess (MACE), and 64 patients with nonfunctioning adrenal tumors (NFAT) with evaluable CT scans were included. Patients with NFAT and MACE were BMI-matched with those with overt CS. Planar and volumetric analyses of CT scans were performed in DICOM images using OsiriX software.


The mean age was 56.6 ± 1.01 years, and 123 patients (65.1%) were female. In the order of NFAT, MACE, and overt CS, the diameters and volumes of the adenoma increased, while limb widths and volumes of the contralateral adrenal gland decreased. Patients with MACE or overt CS were more likely to have osteoporosis than those with NFAT (P = 0.006), and patients with overt CS were more likely to experience a fragility fracture than those with NFAT or MACE (P = 0.002). Among radiologic features, the limb width of the contralateral adrenal gland correlated with the cortisol level after overnight dexamethasone suppression test (r = −0.583, P < 0.001).


The study showed that the contralateral adrenal limb thinning was a distinctive radiologic feature of autonomous cortisol excess in the planar and volumetric analysis.

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Kyeong Seon Park, Jung Hee Kim, Eu Jeong Ku, A Ram Hong, Min Kyong Moon, Sung Hee Choi, Chan Soo Shin, Sang Wan Kim, and Seong Yeon Kim


Unilateral adrenalectomy is the first-line treatment for aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA). Hyperkalemia after adrenalectomy because of contralateral zona glomerulosa insufficiency has been reported. We investigated clinical risk factors to predict postoperative hyperkalemia in patients with APA undergoing adrenalectomy.

Design and methods

This study was conducted by retrospectively reviewing medical records from 2000 to 2012 at Seoul National University Hospital and two other tertiary centers. Data from 124 patients who underwent adrenalectomy were included. Hyperkalemia was defined as serum potassium >5.5 mmol/l. Clinical preoperative risk factors included age, blood pressure, plasma renin activity (PRA), plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC), serum potassium, serum creatinine, glomerular filtration rate (GFR), the mass size on pathology, and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist use.


Out of 124 patients, 13 (10.5%) developed postoperative hyperkalemia. The incidences of transient and persistent hyperkalemia were 3.2 and 7.3% respectively. Preoperative PRA and PAC were not significantly different in postoperative hyperkalemic patients compared with normokalemic patients. Patients with persistent hyperkalemia were older, had a longer duration of hypertension, larger mass size on pathology, and lower GFR (all P<0.05). The incidence of postoperative hyperkalemia was not different between MR antagonist users and non-users.


Older age (≥53 years), longer duration of hypertension (≥9.5 years), larger mass size on pathology (≥1.95 cm), and impaired preoperative renal function (GFR <58.2 ml/min) were associated with prolonged postoperative hyperkalemia in patients with APA. MR antagonist use did not prevent postoperative hyperkalemia.

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A Ram Hong, Jung Hee Kim, Kyeong Seon Park, Kyong Young Kim, Ji Hyun Lee, Sung Hye Kong, Seo Young Lee, Chan Soo Shin, Sang Wan Kim, and Seong Yeon Kim


Recently, the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), in collaboration with the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENSAT), asserted that adrenal incidentalomas (AIs) <4 cm and ≤10 Hounsfield units (HU) do not require further follow-up imaging. To validate the clinical application of the follow-up strategies suggested by the 2016 ESE-ENSAT guidelines, we explored the clinical characteristics and natural course of AIs in a single center over 13 years.

Design and methods

This retrospective cohort study included a total of 1149 patients diagnosed with AIs between 2000 and 2013 in a single tertiary center. Hormonal examination and radiological evaluations were performed at the initial diagnosis of AI and during the follow-up according to the appropriate guidelines.


The mean age at diagnosis was 54.2 years, and the majority of AIs (68.0%) were nonfunctional lesions. Receiver operating curve analysis was used to discriminate malignant from benign lesions; the optimal cut-off value for mass size was 3.4 cm (sensitivity: 100%; specificity: 95.0%), and that for the pre-contrast HU was 19.9 (sensitivity: 100%; specificity: 67.4%). The majority of nonfunctional lesions did not change in size during the 4-year follow-up period. Applying a cut-off value of 1.8 μg/dL after a 1-mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test, 28.0% of all nonfunctional AIs progressed to autonomous cortisol secretion during the follow-up period. However, we observed no development of overt Cushing’s syndrome in the study.


We advocate that no follow-up imaging is required if the detected adrenal mass is <4 cm and has clear benign features. However, prospective studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm the appropriate follow-up strategies.