Reports evaluating the efficacy of fine needle aspiration (FNA) of the adrenal gland have suggested a possible correlation between size of an adrenal mass and the presence of a primary or metastatic malignancy. These studies have focused on FNAs of all adrenal gland masses regardless of clinical history. This study investigates this relationship in a subpopulation of patients with a known history of primary extraadrenal malignancy.All patients who have undergone computed tomographic-guided FNA biopsy of an adrenal mass at Loyola University Medical Center and Hines Veterans Administration Hospital, from 1985 to 1991, were reviewed.If size was assumed to be an independent predictor for presence of metastases, the highest efficiency was obtained with a cutoff value of 3 cm. This value divided the group into 15 (42%) "low-risk" (< or = 3 cm) and 21 (58%) "high-risk" (> 3 cm) subjects. In the "low-risk" group, 87% of the masses (13 of 15) were benign and 13% (2 of 15) were malignant. Within the "high-risk" group, more than 95% of the masses (20 of 21) were malignant, with a single (5%) benign case (p < 0.05).There is a significant correlation between the size of an adrenal nodule and the presence of metastases in patients with a known primary extraadrenal malignancy. Nodules greater than 3 cm have a very high probability of involvement by metastatic tumor. Nodules 3 cm or smaller are usually benign, but metastatic tumor can still be found in up to 13%. FNA biopsy is useful in evaluating adrenal masses in this setting.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993MK90000022
View details for PubMedID 8256219