Adrenocortical carcinoma: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Alternate Names : Tumor – adrenal

Symptoms & Signs

Symptoms that suggest increased cortisol or other adrenal gland hormone production:

* Fatty, rounded hump high on the back just below the neck (buffalo hump)
* Flushed rounded face with pudgy cheeks (moon face)
* Obesity
* Stunted growth in height (short stature)
* Virilization – the appearance of male characteristics, including increased body hair (especially on the face), pubic hair, acne, deepening of voice, and enlarged clitoris (girls)

Symptoms that suggest increased aldosterone production are the same as symptoms of low potassium and include:

* Increased thirst
* Muscle cramps
* Urination
* Weakness

Diagnosis & Tests

A physical exam may reveal high blood pressure and changes in body shape, such as breast enlargement in men (gynecomastia) or male characteristics in women (virilization). Blood tests will be done to check hormone levels:

* ACTH level will be low.
* Aldosterone level will be high.
* Cortisol level will be high.
* Potassium level will be low.

Imaging tests may include:

* Abdominal x-ray
* CT scan of the abdomen
* MRI of the abdomen

Adrenocortical carcinoma: Overview, Causes

Adrenocortical carcinoma: Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests

Adrenocortical carcinoma: Treatment

Review Date : 8/14/2010
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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