Bilateral adrenal gland hyperenhancement

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Bilateral adrenal gland hyperenhancement or intense adrenal enhancement may be a feature of hypotension and forms part of the CT hypoperfusion complex.

Adrenal gland hyperenhancement has been described in pediatric and small adult series or individual cases of hemorrhagic shock, pancreatitis, sepsis and trauma 1-3 but has not been demonstrated in larger series of adults patients with traumatic hypoperfusion 4

Differential diagnosis

  • acute adrenal hemorrhage: more commonly right-sided and unilateral with an enlarged adrenal gland and associated changes in the periadrenal fat 2 
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Article information

rID: 28497
Section: Signs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Adrenal gland hyper-enhancement
  • Intense adrenal enhancement
  • Adrenal gland hyperenhancement
  • Hyperattenuating adrenal glands
  • Hyperdense adrenal glands

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: secondary to bowel ischemia/infarct
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  • Case 2: hypovolemic shock
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  • Case 3: from septic shock
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