Adrenal Tumor Diagnosis

We use cutting-edge tools to diagnose adrenal gland tumors. Lab tests can determine if you have above-normal levels of hormones in your body, for example, and imaging tests, such as CT, MRI, and whole-body PET scans, can pinpoint where the tumor is located. A surgical biopsy can help confirm a diagnosis.


We’ll use a variety of lab tests to determine which adrenal gland is making the excess hormones — and whether we should order imaging or other tests to help confirm the diagnosis.

We’ll also review your medical history with you and do a thorough physical examination. If it might help, we’ll use hormone tests to screen for hyperaldosteronism, and if we find it, we’ll order imaging and lab tests to identify which adrenal gland is producing too much aldosterone.

Aldosteronomas and Conn Syndrome

Our endocrinologists, surgeons, and other specialists will review your medical history with you and do a thorough physical examination. We may also use hormone tests to see if the adrenal gland is making an excess of the hormone aldosterone, or if another condition like bilateral adrenal hyperplasia (BAH) could be causing your symptoms. Imaging or laboratory tests can help confirm the diagnosis.

Pheochromocytomas and Paragangliomas

Diagnosing pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas involves reviewing your medical history, giving you a physical examination, and conducting lab tests to measure the levels of catecholamines and their byproducts in your body. If these tests indicate a tumor, imaging tests can pinpoint its location. An advanced imaging test may also help locate tumors that are too small for more conventional tests to catch or help see tumors that have spread. With this test, we inject a protein and a radioactive substance and use radiation-sensitive imaging tests to see tumors that have absorbed the substance.

Adrenal Cortex Tumors and Cushing’s Syndrome

Our doctor’s can diagnose both Cushing’s syndrome and adrenal cortex tumors. Your doctor will give you a physical exam, review your medical history, and order lab tests. Additional tests can help determine whether you have an adrenal tumor or whether something else is causing your symptoms. Diagnostic imaging, such as CT or MRI scans, can identify which adrenal gland is affected.

Adrenal Cortical Carcinomas

To diagnose adrenal cortical carcinomas, your treatment team may order lab tests to see whether you have unusually high hormone levels. If we find a functional tumor, we’ll recommend that you undergo imaging tests to pinpoint its location. A biopsy, in which surgeons remove a small piece of the tumor so that a pathologist can examine it under a microscope, can help confirm the diagnosis.