Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

Title abbreviation: Adv Clin Exp Med
JCR Impact Factor (IF) – 1.736
5-Year Impact Factor – 2.135
Index Copernicus  – 168.52
MEiN – 70 pts

ISSN 1899–5276 (print)
ISSN 2451-2680 (online)
Periodicity – monthly

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Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine

2018, vol. 27, nr 5, May, p. 681–687

doi: 10.17219/acem/68897

Publication type: original article

Language: English

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Adrenal hemorrhage: A single center experience and literature review

Izabela M. Karwacka1,A,B,C,D,E,F, Łukasz Obołończyk1,C,D,E, Krzysztof Sworczak1,A,C,D,E,F

1 Department of Endocrinology and Internal Diseases, Medical University of Gdańsk, Poland


Background. Adrenal hemorrhage (AH) is a rare condition that can lead to acute adrenal insufficiency and may be fatal. The risk factors of AH include focal adrenal lesion, abdominal trauma and anticoagulation therapy. The clinical manifestation of AH varies widely; the symptoms may be related to adrenal insufficiency or may reflect multiple organ failure. However, in many cases, the course of AH is asymptomatic.
Objectives. The study is a retrospective analysis of 23 cases of AH, whose aim is to discuss the etiology and the management of selected patients, as well as a literature review.
Material and Methods. The paper presents a retrospective analysis of 23 patients with AH confirmed by radiological and/or pathological examination. Epidemiological data, the results of laboratory tests, and radiological and pathological examinations were included in the analysis.
Results. The risk factors of AH were not established in 13 patients, 5 patients had experienced a trauma prior to AH diagnosis, 1 patient was diagnosed with sepsis, 2 patients had concomitant neoplastic disease, and in 2 patients, 2 risk factors were present. Among patients who required emergency admission, 5 patients were hospitalized due to acute abdominal pain, 1 patient due to sepsis and 1 patient due to symptoms of active endocrinopathy. In the remaining patients, diagnostic procedures were prompted by the detection of adrenal incidentaloma (AI). A total of 40% of patients underwent surgical treatment due to the magnitude of AH or clinical and laboratory evidence of overt endocrinopathy. In the remaining patients, conservative treatment and further observation was recommended. In 34.8% of these patients, follow-up examinations revealed a gradual regression.
Conclusion. It seems that there is a need to distinguish patients with AH who do not require surgical intervention. Follow-up radiological examination is necessary to reassess the lesion. The patients in whom shrinkage of the tumor can be observed are likely not to require surgical treatment.

Key words

adrenal glands, hemorrhage, pseudocyst, primary adrenal insufficiency, adrenal incidentaloma

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