A primary adrenal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma presenting as an incidental adrenal mass

R. Lïbè, C. Giavoli, L. Barbetta, C. Dall'Asta, E. Passini, R. Buffa, P. Beck-Peccoz, B. Ambrosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The primary adrenal localization of a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is a rare event. We report the case of a 70-yr-old woman, who was admitted at our Institute for a hormonal evaluation after the incidental discovery of a right adrenal mass during ultrasonography (US) performed for cardiovascular disease. At the physical examination, no sign of adrenal hyperfunction was present. She showed only an androgenetic alopecia and her blood pressure was 180/70 mm Hg, with an arrhythmic heart rate of 100 beats/min. No alterations in hormonal and biochemical data were observed. US studies showed a right adrenal mass (major diameter 16 mm), and an abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan confirmed this solid lesion (major diameter 15 mm) with a high density. [75Se] methylnorcholesterol adrenal scintigraphy exhibited a normal symmetrical radiotracer uptake. After 8 months of follow-up, an abdominal CT scan demonstrated a significant increase of the right adrenal mass (major diameter: 40 mm), with a solid tissue density and enhancement after i.v. contrast. [ 75Se] methylnorcholesterol adrenal scintigraphy showed an absent uptake on the right side versus the contralateral side. The hematological, hormonal and radiological evaluation did not reveal any sign of malignancy. Owing to the mass enlargement and the modification of scintigraphic pattern, the patient underwent unilateral adrenalectomy. Histological examination revealed a primary diffuse large B-cell NHL (REAL classification) of the adrenal gland. After surgery, she underwent a combined polychemotherapy (cyclophospamide, adriamycin, vincristine and prednisone) and subsequently one cycle of radiotherapy. At present, the patient is in good conditions and there are no signs or symptoms of recurrent disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-144
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006


  • Adrenal mass
  • Adrenal tumor
  • Incidentaloma
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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