Myelolipoma: A new adrenal finding in Carney’s complex?
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Pigmented nodular cortical hyperplasia, a rare cause of Cushing’s syndrome, is characterized by resistance to inhibition with dexamethasone and normal sized adrenal glands with multiple, small pigmented nodules. The disorder may be a component of a syndrome inherited as an autosomal dominant pattern that includes intra- and extracardiac myxomas, lentiginous lesions, blue nevi, other functional endocrine tumors, and peripheral nerve tumors (Carney’s complex).
We report a patient in whom bilateral myelolipomas were found, in addition to the usual features of this complex. A 29-yr-old man was admitted to the hospital for Cushing’s syndrome of probably more than 15 yr duration. Physical examination showed diffuse facial hyperchromatic macules, 0.2–0.5 cm, predominantly around the lips and on the palmar surfaces of the fingers.
Results with dexamethasone suppression nocturnal testing (1 and 8 mg) were compatible with an adrenal adenoma. The computed tomography (CT) of the sella turcica was normal. Adrenal CT showed a tumor in the left gland with a double component: one solid and another suggestive of fat, consistent with an angiomyelolipoma. Following 5 wk treatment with ketoconazole, 800 mg per day po, serum cortisol decreased to 5.9 μg/dL, morning and evening, respectively.
Bilateral adrenalectomy was performed. Pathologic examination revealed pigmented nodular cortical hypersplasia and a dominant myelolipoma in the left adrenal. A microscopic myelolipoma was identified in the right adrenal.
An echocardiogram showed a mass on the posterior wall of the left ventricle which was a myxoma. Study of the patient's family disclosed two sisters with facial lentigines. Echocardiograms were performed on all available first degree relatives: all were normal. Nocturnal inhibition with dexamethasone revealed that one of the patient’s sisters with lentigines also had hypercortisolism.
Myelolipoma has been reported in association to Cushing syndrome in humans and experimentally after pituitary extracts in animals. The relationship between this finding and the Carney’s complex remain elusive.
Key WordsMyelolipoma Carney’s complex Cushing syndrome pigmented nodular cortical hyperplasia
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