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Adrenal Mass: Overview

The adrenal glands are small organs (approximately 4 centimeters long and 1 centimeter wide) located above each kidney.  The adrenal glands produce a variety of important chemicals or metabolic hormones. A single adrenal gland can be removed without significant consequence to hormone levels. However, the patient with both adrenal glands removed will require adrenal hormone supplementation for the remainder of his or her life.

An adrenal mass is most commonly diagnosed as an incidental finding on a CT scan, obtained for other reasons such as abdominal pain. However, an adrenal mass can be found during the evaluation of a patient who has over-production of adrenal hormones. Hormone excess can usually be detected with special blood and urine tests.  All adrenal masses warrant evaluation by a specialist.

Additional Links:
Types of Adrenal Tumors
Adrenal Mass Evaluation