A right adrenal tumor was incidentally discovered on abdominal computed tomography performed on a 53-year-old Japanese man, who had been hospitalized with diabetic ketoacidosis. Normal values were obtained for adrenal hormones in the morning after an overnight fast and urinary cortisol excretion after treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis with insulin. However, overnight dexamethasone administration with 1 mg or 8 mg did not completely suppress serum cortisol levels. There were no remarkable physical findings related to Cushing's syndrome. The patient was diagnosed as having preclinical Cushing's syndrome (PCS). Histological examination of the adrenalectomy specimen demonstrated adrenal black adenoma. Blood glucose levels subsequently improved after adrenalectomy, and the patient never developed adrenal insufficiency after hydrocortisone withdrawal. The patient was treated with diet therapy alone, and maintained good glycemic control. However, the patient still showed a diabetic pattern in an oral glucose tolerance test. It seems that the existence of PCS in addition to the underlying type 2 diabetes mellitus contributed to aggravation of blood glucose levels. Although there are many aspects of the natural course of PCS that have not been thoroughly elucidated, it is necessary to remain aware that a PCS patient with abnormal glucose metabolism may develop diabetic ketoacidosis by environmental agents.
- Adrenal black adenoma
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Preclinical Cushing's syndrome
- Type 2 diabetes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism