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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