Adrenal disease: An update

Renata Libianto, Jun Yang, Peter J. Fuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Diseases of the adrenal gland occur rather more frequently than is appreciated and provide a series of challenges for the treating practitioner. Objective: The aim of this article is to provide a practical approach to common adrenal disorders encountered in general practice, including adrenal incidentalomas, primary aldosteronism and adrenal insufficiency. Discussion: Adrenal incidentalomas are adrenal mass lesions >1 cm in diameter serendipitously discovered by radiological examination. They require structural assessment to distinguish common benign pathologies from the rare malignant ones, and biochemistry to exclude hypersecretion syndromes resulting from excess cortisol, aldosterone or catecholamines. Primary aldosteronism represents >5% of hypertension and may be cured or specifically treated, yet is rarely screened for in primary care. Low cortisol levels may reflect adrenal insufficiency due to either adrenal failure, where adrenocorticotropic hormone levels will be elevated, or secondary to hypothalamic–pituitary dysfunction resulting from structural lesions or, increasingly, prescribed exogenous synthetic glucocorticoids and nonconventional therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian Journal of General Practice
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

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