High prevalence of adrenal cortical adenomas in patients with cerebral meningiomas

J Endocrinol Invest. 2022 Oct 21;1-6. doi: 10.1007/s40618-022-01935-y. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Purpose: Adrenal cortical adenomas (ACAs) represent one of the most common endocrine neoplasms. Recently, a genetic syndrome, characterized by tumor-suppressor ARMC5-gene mutations and causing primary macronodular bilateral adrenal hyperplasia with concomitant meningiomas of the central nervous system, has been described. Apart from this rare disorder and despite the well-known influence of steroid hormones on meningiomas, no data are available about the association between ACAs and meningiomas.

Methods: We investigated the prevalence of ACAs in a group of patients with cerebral meningioma undergoing unenhanced chest CT scans before attending surgical treatment. Patients with meningioma were age- and sex-matched in a 1:3 ratio with hospitalized patients for COVID-19.

Results: Fifty-six patients with meningioma were included and matched with 168 control patients with COVID-19. One-hundred forty-four (66.1%) were female and the median age was 63 years. Twenty ACAs were detected in the overall population (8.9% of the subjects): 10 in patients with meningioma (18%) and the remaining 10 (6%) in the control group (p = 0.007). Multivariate analysis showed that age and presence of meningioma were statistically associated with the presence of ACAs (p = 0.01, p = 0.008).

Conclusion: We report, for the first time, a higher prevalence of ACAs in patients with meningioma as compared to age- and sex-matched controls. Larger studies are needed to confirm our data and to clarify the characteristics of the ACAs in patients with meningioma. Whether the detection of ACAs should prompt a neuroimaging evaluation to exclude the presence of meningiomas needs also to be considered.

Keywords: ARMC5; Adrenal cortical adenomas; Adrenal gland; Cerebral meningiomas.