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Androgen‐Secreting Adrenal Adenomas

Danilowicz, K. MD; Albiger, N. MD; Vanegas, M. MD; Gómez, R. M. MD; Cross, G. MD; Bruno, O. D. MD, PhD

Case Reports

BACKGROUND: The androgen source in women with hirsutism and signs of virilism may be the ovary or adrenal gland.

CASES: Three patients with androgen excess are reported. Two had hyperandrogenemia and Cushing syndrome with an adrenal mass greater than 5.5 cm; the third had a small adrenal adenoma secreting only testosterone and responsive to human chorionic gonadotropin. In all cases, the pathologic report from surgery and the long-term resolution of symptoms confirmed the benign nature of the tumors.

CONCLUSION: Basal and dynamic hormonal tests cannot precisely differentiate ovarian from adrenal tumors. Adrenal adenomas must be considered as a cause of hyperandrogenic syndrome.

The possibility of adrenal adenomas must be considered in differential diagnosis as a cause of the hyperandrogenic syndrome.

Division of Endocrinology, Hospital de Clínicas, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Address reprint requests to: O. D. Bruno, MD, PhD, University of Buenos Aires, Division of Endocrinology, Hospital de Clínicas, Avenida Córdoba 2351, 5to piso, 1120 Buenos Aires, Argentina; E-mail:

Received October 23, 2001. Received in revised form April 2, 2002. Accepted April 18, 2002.

© 2002 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists