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World J Surg Oncol. 2014 Feb 26;12:45. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-12-45.

Imaging and management of a small cell lung cancer metastasis/adrenal adenoma collision tumor: a case report and review of the literature.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, New York, NY 10065, USA.



We report a case of an adrenal collision tumor composed of a small cell lung carcinoma metastasis and a benign adrenal adenoma identified preoperatively on FDG-PET, CT and MRI and confirmed pathologically.


The patient's history, preoperative imaging characteristics, postoperative course, and histopathology are described. A review of the literature addressing adrenal collision tumors is provided.


A 47-year-old female was found to have a left upper lobe lung mass and an adrenal lesion on imaging. FDG-PET, CT and MRI of the adrenal suggested a metastatic lesion adjacent to an adrenal adenoma. CT-guided biopsy of the adrenal gland was consistent with a small cell lung cancer metastasis. The patient underwent systemic chemotherapy and had complete resolution of the left upper lobe mass. Post-treatment FDG-PET demonstrated a persistently enlarged adrenal gland with decreased but persistent FDG uptake. The patient underwent adrenalectomy and pathologic examination demonstrated a small cell lung cancer/adenoma collision tumor.


This case and a review of the literature demonstrate that FDG, CT and MR imaging can all characterize the separate components of collision tumors within the adrenal gland.

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