Adrenal tumors that produce the steroid hormone cortisol can lead to a disease called Cushing's syndrome. Excess steroid hormone can also be caused by pituitary tumors, lung tumors, prescription drugs and adrenal tumors. Symptoms of steroid excess include obesity, high blood pressure, menstrual irregularities, edema, thin skin, easy bruising, muscle weakness and high blood sugar.
Our experienced specialists use blood and urine tests to diagnose of Cushing's syndrome and to determine the source of steroid production. Imaging studies, such as computed tomography (CAT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are used to locate the suspected adrenal tumor. If an adrenal tumor is found and tests confirm it as the source of steroid hormone production, our physicians will recommend the surgical removal of the tumor.
Most cortisol-producing adrenal tumors are benign and can be removed using a minimally invasive surgical technique. Cure rates are excellent, and many patients have a good chance of having steroid levels return to normal following surgery. Some patients may need to take steroid medication for a period of time following surgery as the remaining adrenal gland regains strength and begins to function normally again.