Adrenal gland and paraganglia
Adrenal hyperfunction / hyperplasia
Adrenal hyperfunction, general



Topic Completed: 1 February 2013

Revised: 4 June 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Adrenal hyperfunction


Nat Pernick, M.D.
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Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Pernick N. Adrenal hyperfunction, general. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/adrenalhyperfunction.html. Accessed June 17th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Causes are Cushing syndrome, hyperaldosteronism, adrenogenital syndrome or other congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • May be ACTH-dependent (Cushing disease, ectopic ACTH syndrome, ectopic CRH syndrome) or independent (hyperplasia, adenoma, carcinoma, iatrogenic)
  • Symptoms: initially weight gain, hypertension; later truncal obesity, moon facies, buffalo hump (fat in posterior neck and back), atrophy of fast twitch (type 2) fibers causing muscle weakness, hyperglycemia, glucosuria, polydipsia (due to increased gluconeogenesis, reduced glucose uptake by cells), loss of collagen in proteins (fragile skin), bone resorption (osteoporosis), abdominal striae, infections, mental disturbances, hirsutism and menstrual abnormalities
  • Diagnosis: elevated 24 hour urine free cortisol, loss of diurnal pattern of cortisol secretion
  • Myelolipomatous change: may be a marker of cortisol hyperactivity
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