A 39 year old man presented with gynaecomastia, loss of libido and high blood pressure. Hormone studies revealed elevated plasma levels of oestradiol and its precursors, which increased in response to adrenocorticotrophic hormone and were reduced to normal levels with dexamethasone. Computed tomography disclosed a left adrenal mass and surgery was performed. The removed tumour weighed 84 g and the histological diagnosis was of adenoma. Nine years after surgery, he is asymptomatic, without hypertension, and radiological and or hormonal evidence of recurrence. We discuss the hormone profile in this case and the dynamics of steroid production by the tumour which, in contrast to the classical concept of tumour autonomy, showed dependence of oestradiol secretion on endogenous adrenocorticotrophic hormone.
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