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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Clinical and genetic features of adrenocortical lesions in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1.

In multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1), benign enlargement of the adrenal cortex has been found in about one third of necropsy cases. To elucidate the clinical and genetic characteristics of the MEN-1 adrenal lesion, we have investigated 33 MEN-1 patients. Twelve individuals (37%) demonstrated adrenal enlargement, which was bilateral in 7 of them. Histopathology revealed diffuse and nodular cortical hyperplasia, adenomas, and a single case of adrenocortical carcinoma. The apparently benign adrenal enlargements were not associated with presently ascertainable biochemical disturbances in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, and they were without radiological signs of progression during follow-up. The individual developing unilateral adrenocortical carcinoma showed rapid adrenal expansion, feminization, and an abnormal urinary steroid profile after 4 yr of observation for bilateral minor adrenal enlargements. Pancreatic endocrine tumors were significantly overrepresented and present in all MEN-1 individuals with adrenal involvement. In agreement with findings in sporadic cases, the MEN-1 adrenocortical carcinoma genome showed loss of constitutional heterozygosity for alleles at 17p, 13q, 11p, and 11q. The benign adrenal lesions retained heterozygosity for the MEN-1 locus at chromosome 11 q 13. Despite its prevalence and malignant potential, the pituitary-independent adrenocortical proliferation does not appear to be a primary lesion in MEN-1, but might represent a secondary phenomenon, perhaps related to the pancreatic endocrine tumor.[1]


  1. Clinical and genetic features of adrenocortical lesions in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1. Skogseid, B., Larsson, C., Lindgren, P.G., Kvanta, E., Rastad, J., Theodorsson, E., Wide, L., Wilander, E., Oberg, K. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (1992) [Pubmed]
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