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December 21, 1979

Computerized Tomography of the Adrenal Gland

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's Medical Center, Chicago.

JAMA. 1979;242(25):2791-2794. doi:10.1001/jama.1979.03300250047032

BEFORE computerized tomography (CT), the detection of adrenal masses and the determination of their size and extent were difficult and often unsuccessful. While invasive techniques such as arteriography and phlebography are highly accurate, they necessitate patient hospitalization, involve high radiation doses, and require considerable operator expertise if complications are to be avoided. Computerized tomography provides an accurate and noninvasive method of evaluating suspected adrenal disease (ie, in patients with clinical and biochemical evidence of Cushing's syndrome, pheochromocytoma, or aldosteronoma). In addition to being technically easy to perform, the examination can be done on an outpatient basis, thus diminishing the overall time and cost of hospitalization. The purpose of this communication is to emphasize the sensitivity, accuracy, and convenience of CT as a screening procedure in patients with suspected adrenal disease.

Technique  In the last three years, our department has performed approximately 4,500 body scans. The earliest scans were performed on