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Adrenocortical carcinoma initially presenting with hypokalemia and hypertension mimicking hyperaldosteronism: a case report.

Huang CJ, Wang TH, Lo YH, Hou KT, Won JG, Jap TS, Kuo CS - BMC Res Notes (2013)

Bottom Line: Etomidate infusion was performed to reduce his cortisol level before the patient received a right adrenalectomy and liver wedge resection.Recurrent hypercortisolism was found shortly after surgery.The patient died of Fournier's gangrene with septic shock on the 59th day after diagnosis.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No, 201, Sec, 2, Shih-Pai Rd, Taipei 112, Taiwan. cskuo@vghtpe.gov.tw.

ABSTRACT

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare malignancy and rare cause of Cushing's syndrome.

Case presentation: A 65-year-old seemingly well male patient was referred to our clinic under the suspicion of hyperaldosteronism due to hypertension combined with hypokalemia. However, his serum aldosterone and plasma renin activity were within normal limits. Instead, Cushing's syndrome was diagnosed by elevated urine free cortisol and a non-suppressible dexamethasone test. Abdominal computed tomography showed a 7.8 × 4.8 cm mass lesion at the right adrenal gland with liver invasion. Etomidate infusion was performed to reduce his cortisol level before the patient received a right adrenalectomy and liver wedge resection. The pathology report showed adrenocortical carcinoma with liver and lymph node metastasis. According to the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENSAT) staging system, the tumor was classified as T4N1M1, stage IV. Recurrent hypercortisolism was found shortly after surgery. The patient died of Fournier's gangrene with septic shock on the 59th day after diagnosis.

Conclusions: We report a case of rapidly progressive stage IV adrenocortical carcinoma with initial presentations of hypokaelmia and hypertension, mimicking hyperaldosteronism.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

The pathological findings of the tumor showed (A) sinusoidal and capsular invasion with irregular border (hematoxylin and eosin, 40×), (B) sheet-like arrangement (40×), (C) central necrosis (100×), (D) high grade nucleus with frequent mitoses (400×), and positive immunohistochemical staining for both (E) melan A and (F) alpha-inhibin.
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Figure 2: The pathological findings of the tumor showed (A) sinusoidal and capsular invasion with irregular border (hematoxylin and eosin, 40×), (B) sheet-like arrangement (40×), (C) central necrosis (100×), (D) high grade nucleus with frequent mitoses (400×), and positive immunohistochemical staining for both (E) melan A and (F) alpha-inhibin.

Mentions: A 65-year-old seemingly well male was referred to our clinic due to hypertension and hypokalemia. He denied any discomfort in the past few months. However, vague symptoms of muscle weakness with cramping, polyuria, and nocturia were noted upon further interview. During his annual health check-up six months ago, he was diagnosed with hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus. On physical examination, blood pressure was 148/72 mmHg. There were no purple striae, central obesity, buffalo hump, proximal muscle weakness, or skin hyperpigmentation. His serum potassium level was 2.2 mmol/l. Hormonal studies demonstrated excess of serum cortisol with loss of diurnal pattern, elevated urine free cortisol and a non-suppressible dexamethasone test. The aldosterone level and plasma renin activity were in normal limits. The laboratory results of hormonal studies are summarized in Table 1. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) showed a 7.8 × 4.8 cm heterogenous lobulated enhancing mass lesion at the right adrenal gland with suspicious local invasion to the posterior segment of the liver (Figure 1). To reduce the cortisol level before operation, etomidate 2 mg/hr was infused and the serum cortisol level decreased from 59.95 μg/dl to 13.3 μg/dl in 48 hours. One week after diagnosis, he received surgical removal of his right adrenal tumor, retrocaval lymph nodes and wedge resection of the liver. Grossly, it was a bulky tumor, measuring 11.6 × 7.0 × 5.1 cm in size with irregular border and central necrosis. Microscopic examination revealed a sheet architectural pattern and focal necrosis. The neoplastic cells had acidophilic cytoplasm with pleomorphism, hyperchromasia, and high nuclear grade. There was sinusoidal and capsular invasion. The immunohistochemical stains revealed that the tumor cells were immunoreactive for melan A and alpha-inhibin diffusely and for calretinin focally. Based on the Weiss system, the tumor was classified as adrenocortical carcinoma. The liver and the retrocaval lymph nodes showed evidence of metastasis (Figure 2). According to the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENSAT) staging system, the tumor was classified as T4N1M1, stage IV. Shortly after the operation, the patient presented with severe sepsis with recurrent hypercortisolism. The patient and his family refused further therapy under critical status and the patient died as a result of Fournier’s gangrene with septic shock on the 59th day after diagnosis.


Adrenocortical carcinoma initially presenting with hypokalemia and hypertension mimicking hyperaldosteronism: a case report.

Huang CJ, Wang TH, Lo YH, Hou KT, Won JG, Jap TS, Kuo CS - BMC Res Notes (2013)

The pathological findings of the tumor showed (A) sinusoidal and capsular invasion with irregular border (hematoxylin and eosin, 40×), (B) sheet-like arrangement (40×), (C) central necrosis (100×), (D) high grade nucleus with frequent mitoses (400×), and positive immunohistochemical staining for both (E) melan A and (F) alpha-inhibin.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3852253&req=5

Figure 2: The pathological findings of the tumor showed (A) sinusoidal and capsular invasion with irregular border (hematoxylin and eosin, 40×), (B) sheet-like arrangement (40×), (C) central necrosis (100×), (D) high grade nucleus with frequent mitoses (400×), and positive immunohistochemical staining for both (E) melan A and (F) alpha-inhibin.
Mentions: A 65-year-old seemingly well male was referred to our clinic due to hypertension and hypokalemia. He denied any discomfort in the past few months. However, vague symptoms of muscle weakness with cramping, polyuria, and nocturia were noted upon further interview. During his annual health check-up six months ago, he was diagnosed with hypertension and type 2 diabetes mellitus. On physical examination, blood pressure was 148/72 mmHg. There were no purple striae, central obesity, buffalo hump, proximal muscle weakness, or skin hyperpigmentation. His serum potassium level was 2.2 mmol/l. Hormonal studies demonstrated excess of serum cortisol with loss of diurnal pattern, elevated urine free cortisol and a non-suppressible dexamethasone test. The aldosterone level and plasma renin activity were in normal limits. The laboratory results of hormonal studies are summarized in Table 1. Abdominal computed tomography (CT) showed a 7.8 × 4.8 cm heterogenous lobulated enhancing mass lesion at the right adrenal gland with suspicious local invasion to the posterior segment of the liver (Figure 1). To reduce the cortisol level before operation, etomidate 2 mg/hr was infused and the serum cortisol level decreased from 59.95 μg/dl to 13.3 μg/dl in 48 hours. One week after diagnosis, he received surgical removal of his right adrenal tumor, retrocaval lymph nodes and wedge resection of the liver. Grossly, it was a bulky tumor, measuring 11.6 × 7.0 × 5.1 cm in size with irregular border and central necrosis. Microscopic examination revealed a sheet architectural pattern and focal necrosis. The neoplastic cells had acidophilic cytoplasm with pleomorphism, hyperchromasia, and high nuclear grade. There was sinusoidal and capsular invasion. The immunohistochemical stains revealed that the tumor cells were immunoreactive for melan A and alpha-inhibin diffusely and for calretinin focally. Based on the Weiss system, the tumor was classified as adrenocortical carcinoma. The liver and the retrocaval lymph nodes showed evidence of metastasis (Figure 2). According to the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENSAT) staging system, the tumor was classified as T4N1M1, stage IV. Shortly after the operation, the patient presented with severe sepsis with recurrent hypercortisolism. The patient and his family refused further therapy under critical status and the patient died as a result of Fournier’s gangrene with septic shock on the 59th day after diagnosis.

Bottom Line: Etomidate infusion was performed to reduce his cortisol level before the patient received a right adrenalectomy and liver wedge resection.Recurrent hypercortisolism was found shortly after surgery.The patient died of Fournier's gangrene with septic shock on the 59th day after diagnosis.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No, 201, Sec, 2, Shih-Pai Rd, Taipei 112, Taiwan. cskuo@vghtpe.gov.tw.

ABSTRACT

Background: Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare malignancy and rare cause of Cushing's syndrome.

Case presentation: A 65-year-old seemingly well male patient was referred to our clinic under the suspicion of hyperaldosteronism due to hypertension combined with hypokalemia. However, his serum aldosterone and plasma renin activity were within normal limits. Instead, Cushing's syndrome was diagnosed by elevated urine free cortisol and a non-suppressible dexamethasone test. Abdominal computed tomography showed a 7.8 × 4.8 cm mass lesion at the right adrenal gland with liver invasion. Etomidate infusion was performed to reduce his cortisol level before the patient received a right adrenalectomy and liver wedge resection. The pathology report showed adrenocortical carcinoma with liver and lymph node metastasis. According to the European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENSAT) staging system, the tumor was classified as T4N1M1, stage IV. Recurrent hypercortisolism was found shortly after surgery. The patient died of Fournier's gangrene with septic shock on the 59th day after diagnosis.

Conclusions: We report a case of rapidly progressive stage IV adrenocortical carcinoma with initial presentations of hypokaelmia and hypertension, mimicking hyperaldosteronism.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus