What are the AACE/AAES joint diagnostic guidelines for adrenal incidentaloma?

Updated: Feb 12, 2019
  • Author: Cameron K Tebbi, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Guidelines issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) in 2009 for the management of adrenal incidentalomas recommend that evaluation of patients with an adrenal incidentaloma include clinical, biochemical, and radiographical testing for the following [119] :

  • Hypercortisolism

  • Aldosteronism (if hypertensive)

  • Pheochromocytoma or a malignant tumor

The simplest screening test for autonomous cortisol secretion from an incidentaloma is a 1-mg overnight dexamethasone suppression test. Salivary cortisol, dexamethasone suppression, and urine free cortisol testing can be used if clinical suspicion is high (eg, in patients with hypertension, obesity, diabetes mellitus, or osteoporosis).

Primary aldosteronism is confirmed by lack of aldosterone suppression on a 24-hour urine study with salt loading.

To determine the incidentaloma subtype, high-resolution computed tomography scanning should be performed in all patients. In addition, adrenal venous sampling should be performed in most patients older than 40 years.

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