In the last few years there has been increasing interest in incidentally discovered adrenal masses detected by abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance tomography in patients in whom the radiological procedure was ordered for reasons other than the suspicion of adrenal disease. Such "incidentalomas" are found in 0.6–1.3% of abdominal CTs, which is a similar percentage to the finding of adrenal nodules on necroscopy (1). Most of these nodules are 1–3 cm in diameter, but more rarely lesions up to 10 cm or larger may be discovered.
The likelihood of finding an "incidentaloma" is greater in females, in elderly people and in those with arterial hypertension. Finding an "incidentaloma" should alert the referring physician to re-examine the patient, looking for symptoms and signs of adrenocortical or adrenomedullary disease, or of a malignancy. If the patient is known to have cancer, the adrenal lesion, especially if bilateral, may be