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01.12.2014 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Medical Case Reports 1/2014

Ganglioneuroma presenting as an adrenal incidentaloma: a case report

Journal of Medical Case Reports > Ausgabe 1/2014
Mine Adas, Bora Koc, Gokhan Adas, Filiz Ozulker, Tamer Aydin
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1752-1947-8-131) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MA and BK took care of patient and wrote the initial draft. BK and GA operated on the patient. TA performed the pathologic evaluation of the specimen. BK, GA and FO edited the manuscript and performed the literature review. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Ganglioneuromas are rare benign tumors arising from the neural crest tissue and are most commonly located in the posterior mediastinum and retroperitoneum; they are rarely found in the adrenal gland. This tumor is usually asymptomatic and in the majority of cases is detected incidentally. Although the characteristics of adrenal ganglioneuroma on computerized tomography and magnetic resonance imaging have been well described, the exact diagnosis is difficult. Histopathological examination is currently the mainstay of diagnosis. Ganglioneuromas have a very good prognosis with surgical removal. We report the case of a male patient with an incidentally identified adrenal ganglioneuroma with high standardized uptake values in a positron emission tomography scan.

Case presentation

An 18-year-old Turkish male patient with no previous comorbidities was admitted to our hospital with lower-quadrant pain. He had no significant past medical or surgical history. A physical examination did not reveal any signs and the results of routine laboratory tests were all within the normal ranges. Our patient underwent computed tomography of his abdomen, which showed a relatively homogenous left adrenal tumor measuring 5.2×4.3×7.1cm. On a positron emission tomography scan, the left adrenal gland disclosed a standardized uptake value of 4.1. Our patient underwent an exploratory laparotomy with left adrenalectomy without any related complications.


Ganglioneuroma may sometimes be similar to other adrenal malignancies. Careful evaluation with endocrine tests and imaging procedures is necessary to provide an accurate diagnosis. Definitive diagnosis can be made by histological examination. The prognosis is very good with surgical removal.

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