Background. Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare and highly aggressive malignancy. ACCs often secrete adrenal steroid hormones including cortisol and androgens; however, aldosterone-producing ACC is very rare. Although adrenal production of aldosterone is assessed by adrenal venous sampling, the use of sampling from the relevant vein to assess aldosterone production from a tumor arising from ACC metastasis has not been previously reported. Case Presentation. We report the case of a 69-year-old Japanese man with aldosterone-producing ACC with hepatic metastasis. He presented with a history of treatment-resistant hypertension and hypokalemia. Endocrinological examination showed markedly increased plasma aldosterone concentration and suppressed plasma renin activity. Serum cortisol concentration was not suppressed by administration of dexamethasone 1 mg, and normal circadian variation of cortisol secretion was disrupted. Abdominal computed tomography showed a large tumor in the left adrenal gland and multiple tumors in the liver. Together, these results strongly suggested ACC with multiple liver metastases causing primary aldosteronism and subclinical Cushing syndrome. Adrenal and hepatic venous sampling showed markedly increased aldosterone concentration in the left adrenal vein but no increase in the hepatic vein, despite a pathological diagnosis of ACC with hepatic metastasis, with immunohistochemical investigation showing both primary and secondary tumors to have synthetic capability for aldosterone. The patient received mitotane but declined combination chemotherapy and died 2 months later. Conclusion. This is the first report of adrenal and hepatic venous sampling in a case of aldosterone-producing ACC with hepatic metastasis. The case suggests that hepatic venous sampling is unable to detect aldosterone production from liver metastases arising from ACC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism