Isolated adrenal masses in nonsmall-cell bronchogenic carcinoma

Radiology. 1984 Oct;153(1):217-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.153.1.6473783.


Computed tomography has become an important diagnostic modality in the preoperative staging of patients with bronchogenic carcinoma. The adrenal glands represent one of the most frequent sites of metastasis. Therefore, an isolated adrenal mass discovered on preoperative thoracoabdominal CT poses a diagnostic problem. Three hundred thirty patients with histologically proved nonsmall-cell bronchogenic carcinoma were evaluated. Thirty-two had adrenal masses without further evidence of disease in the abdomen. Eight of these 32 masses were metastases, 17 were proved adenomas, and seven did not undergo biopsy. Thus, in the patients with nonsmall-cell bronchogenic carcinoma, an isolated adrenal mass is more likely benign than metastatic, and biopsy is advocated prior to withholding potentially curative surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / secondary
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / diagnostic imaging*
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / secondary
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed