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CLINICAL IMAGE Table of Contents  
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High-resolution ultrasonography of adrenal myelolipoma

 Department of Radiology, St. John's Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

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Date of Submission07-Aug-2021
Date of Decision23-Sep-2021
Date of Acceptance24-Sep-2021
Date of Web Publication26-Oct-2021

How to cite this URL:
Reddy R. High-resolution ultrasonography of adrenal myelolipoma. Apollo Med [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2022 Sep 27]. Available from: https://apollomedicine.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=329356

  Description Top

A 45-year-old female from a rural background with no significant family history presented to the department of general surgery with complaints of dull right-sided flank pain for 4 weeks. She gave us a history of recent onset uncontrolled hypertension with blood pressure at 160/90 mm Hg. She was referred for high-resolution ultrasonography of the lower abdomen which revealed a well-circumscribed heterogeneously hyperechoic lesion measuring 4.4 cm × 3.8 cm in the right suprarenal location [Figure 1]a. Ultrasonography was performed using a 3.5 MHz sector or phased array probe using the best approach for viewing the right adrenal gland which was to scan from the right flank region through the intercostal space. Color Doppler demonstrated no significant vascularity. The diagnosis based on imaging findings was adrenal myelolipoma [Figure 1]b. Differential diagnosis considered based on ultrasonography findings were adrenal myelolipoma, pheochromocytoma, and exophytic renal angiomyolipoma. Serum norepinephrine levels were elevated at 988 pg/mL. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan of the abdomen was done which confirmed a mass lesion involving the right adrenal gland with soft tissue and fat density (−97 HU) contents. Following which the patient underwent complete surgical resection of the right suprarenal gland. Histopathology of the resected specimen demonstrated mature adipose tissue with myeloid elements and varying amounts of hemorrhage consistent with bleed within an adrenal myelolipoma.
Figure 1: (a) Longitudinal high-resolution ultrasonography image demonstrating a well-circumscribed heteroechoic lesion in the right suprarenal location (arrows) consistent with adrenal myelolipoma. (b) Color Doppler ultrasonography demonstrating no significant vascularity within the adrenal lesion

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  Discussion Top

Adrenal myelolipomas comprise 6%–16% of incidentalomas occurring in the suprarenal gland, the commonest being adrenal adenomas. Adrenal myelolipoma is composed predominantly of mature adipose tissue admixed with the myeloid component.[1] Myelolipoma may occur in the retroperitoneum around the kidney and presacral space or in the liver; however, the adrenal gland is the most common site. They are usually hormonally inactive and asymptomatic until they reach large sizes. Giant tumors of the adrenal gland like in the index case described may rarely lead to Addisonian crisis secondary to intralesional hemorrhage.[2] Although benign in nature, diagnostic difficulties may arise while imaging adrenal myelolipoma. Literature review suggests the coexistence of adrenal myelolipomas with specific endocrinological conditions such as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Cushing's syndrome, and Addison's disease.[3] Imaging appearances vary based on individual tumor components with areas of hemorrhage appearing hypoechoic on ultrasonography. Complete surgical resection of the adrenal lesion is indicated when there is excessive hormone production as in our case with elevated norepinephrine levels.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient (s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initial s will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Adapa S, Naramala S, Gayam V, Gavini F, Dhingra H, Hazard FK, et al. Adrenal incidentaloma: Challenges in diagnosing adrenal myelolipoma. J Investig Med High Impact Case Rep 2019;7:2324709619870311.  Back to cited text no. 1
Decmann Á, Perge P, Tóth M, Igaz P. Adrenal myelolipoma: A comprehensive review. Endocrine 2018;59:7-15.  Back to cited text no. 2
Al-Bahri S, Tariq A, Lowentritt B, Nasrallah DV. Giant bilateral adrenal myelolipoma with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Case Rep Surg 2014;2014:728198.  Back to cited text no. 3

Correspondence Address:
Ravikanth Reddy,
Department of Radiology, St. John's Hospital, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/am.am_94_21


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