Patients with adrenal incidentaloma (AI) and subclinical hypercortisolism (SH) show a high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and an increased prevalence and incidence of cardiovascular events. Furthermore, some recent data suggest that in these patients, the cardiovascular mortality is also increased. Unfortunately, to date, the diagnosis of SH is still a matter of debate, and, therefore, it is still not possible to address the treatment of choice (i.e. surgical or conservative approach) in many AI patients. Overall, the available data show that in AI patients with established SH the surgical removal of the adrenal mass causing SH can lead to the improvement of hypertension and diabetes, but in many patients with possible SH the effect of surgery is still largely unknown. Finally, no data are available on the effect of the recovery from SH on the cardiovascular events. Therefore, randomized studies are needed to investigate the possibility of predicting the usefulness of surgery by using the available indexes of cortisol secretion in the individual AI patient. Finally, the development of safe and well-tolerated drugs aimed to control cortisol secretion will be among the goals of the future research.
- Adrenal incidentaloma
- Cardiovascular mortality
- Subclinical hypercortisolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism