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Hormones (Athens). 2011 Jan-Mar;10(1):76-9.

Adrenal cortical oncocytoma mimicking pheochromocytoma.

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Department of Surgery, Hygeia Hospital, Athens, Greece.



Adrenal tumors present with clinical features and signs unique to their specific hormonal hypersecretion. However, there have been cases in which the clinical expression has been in conflict with the histologic features of the tumor. In this communication we report an unusual clinical presentation of an adrenal cortical tumor with histologic features of an oncocytoma that clinically mimicked a pheochromocytoma.


A 49-year old man was referred to our Unit due to type B aortic dissection and a mass of the left adrenal gland. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the presence of aortic dissection extending from the left subclavian artery to both iliac arteries and also revealed a 6 cm tumor on the left adrenal gland. Preoperative endocrine evaluation showed a near tenfold increase of urinary vanillylmandelic acid (VMA) and metanephrine values.


Transperitoneal laparoscopic adrenalectomy was successfully performed. The adrenal tumor proved to be an adrenal cortical neoplasm with histologic features of oncocytoma.


Although the case of an adrenal cortical adenoma clinically mimicking a pheochromocytoma has been described in the literature, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no previous report of an adrenal cortical neoplasm with predominant features of oncocytoma.

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