Adrenocortical carcinoma differential diagnosis

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Raviteja Guddeti, M.B.B.S. [2] Ahmad Al Maradni, M.D. [3] {Mohammed Abdelwahed M.D[4]

Overview

Adrenocortical carcinoma must be differentiated from other adrenal tumors such as adrenocortical adenoma, adrenal metastasis, adrenal medullary tumors, and Cushing's syndrome.

Differentiating Adrenal Carcinoma from other Diseases

Adrenocortical carcinoma must be differentiated from other adrenal tumors such as adrenocortical adenoma, adrenal metastasis, adrenal medullary tumors, and Cushing's syndrome.

Differential Diagnosis Clinical picture Imagings Laboratory tests
Adrenocortical carcinoma
Adrenal adenoma
Cushing's syndrome
  • Imaging may show mass if presents
Pheochromocytoma
Adrenal metastasis

DIfferentiating Adrenocortical carcinoma from other diseases

Disease Gene Chromosome Differentiating Features Components of MEN Diagnosis
Parathyroid Pitutary Pancreas
von Hippel-Lindau syndrome Von Hippel–Lindau tumor suppressor 3p25.3
  • Angiomatosis, 
  • Hemangioblastomas,
  • Pheochromocytoma, 
  • Renal cell carcinoma,
  • Pancreatic cysts (pancreatic serous cystadenoma)
  • Endolymphatic sac tumor,
  • Bilateral papillary cystadenomas of the epididymis (men) or broad ligament of the uterus (women)
- - +
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • In hereditary VHL, disease techniques such as Southern blotting and gene sequencing can be used to analyse DNA and identify mutations.
Carney complex  PRKAR1A 17q23-q24
  • Myxomas of the heart
  • Hyperpigmentation of the skin (lentiginosis)
  • Endocrine (ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome due to primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease)
- - -
  • Clinical diagnosis
Neurofibromatosis type 1 RAS 17 - - - Prenatal
  • Chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis can be used to detect NF-1 in the fetus.

Postnatal Cardinal Clinical Features" are required for positive diagnosis.

  • Six or more café-au-lait spots over 5 mm in greatest diameter in pre-pubertal individuals and over 15 mm in greatest diameter in post-pubertal individuals.
  • Two or more neurofibromas of any type or 1 plexiform neurofibroma
  • Freckling in the axillary (Crowe sign) or inguinal regions
  • Optic glioma
  • Two or more Lisch nodules (pigmented iris hamartomas)
  • A distinctive osseous lesion such as sphenoid dysplasia, or thinning of the long bone cortex with or without pseudarthrosis.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome TP53 17 Early onset of diverse amount of cancers such as - - -

Criteria

  • Sarcoma at a young age (below 45)
  • A first-degree relative diagnosed with any cancer at a young age (below 45)
  • A first or second degree relative with any cancer diagnosed before age 60.
Gardner's syndrome APC  5q21
  • Multiple polyps in the colon 
  • Osteomas of the skull
  • Thyroid cancer,
  • Epidermoid cysts,
  • Fibromas
  • Desmoid tumors
- - -
  • Clinical diagnosis
  • Colonoscopy
Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 RET - + - -

Criteria Two or more specific endocrine tumors

Cowden syndrome PTEN -  Hamartomas - - -
  • PTEN mutation probability risk calculator
Acromegaly/gigantism - - - + -
Pituitary adenoma - - - + -
Hyperparathyroidism - - - + - -
  • An elevated concentration of serum calcium with elevated parathyroid hormone level is diagnostic of primary hyperparathyroidism.
  • Most consistent laboratory findings associated with the diagnosis of secondary hyperparathyroidism include elevated serum parathyroid hormone level and low to normal serum calcium.
  • An elevated concentration of serum calcium with elevated parathyroid hormone level in post renal transplant patients is diagnostic of tertiary hyperparathyoidism.
Pheochromocytoma/paraganglioma

VHL RET NF1   SDHB  SDHD

- Characterized by - - -
  • Increased catecholamines and metanephrines in plasma (blood) or through a 24-hour urine collection.
Adrenocortical carcinoma
  • p53
  • Retinoblastoma h19
  • Insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II)
  • p57kip2
17p, 13q  - - -
  • Increased serum glucose
  • Increased urine cortisol
  • Serum androstenedione and dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Low serum potassium
  • Low plasma renin activity
  • High serum aldosterone.
  • Excess serum estrogen.
Adapted from Toledo SP, Lourenço DM, Toledo RA. A differential diagnosis of inherited endocrine tumors and their tumor counterparts, journal=Clinics (Sao Paulo), volume= 68, issue= 7, 07/24/2013[2]

References

  1. Manolopoulou J, Fischer E, Dietz A, Diederich S, Holmes D, Junnila R; et al. (2015). "Clinical validation for the aldosterone-to-renin ratio and aldosterone suppression testing using simultaneous fully automated chemiluminescence immunoassays.". J Hypertens. 33 (12): 2500–11. PMID 26372319. doi:10.1097/HJH.0000000000000727. 
  2. Toledo SP, Lourenço DM, Toledo RA (2013). "A differential diagnosis of inherited endocrine tumors and their tumor counterparts.". Clinics (Sao Paulo). 68 (7): 1039–56. PMC 3715026Freely accessible. PMID 23917672. doi:10.6061/clinics/2013(07)24. 

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