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Adrenocortical carcinoma, an unusual cause of secondary hypertension
  1. Daniel Veron Esquivel1,
  2. Fernando Batiz1,
  3. Alfonso Farias Vega1,
  4. Perla A Carrillo Gonzalez2
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Hospital Español de México, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Regional Licenciado Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Ciudad de Mexico, Mexico
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Veron Esquivel, daniveron094{at}


We present the case of a female patient aged 39 years who was admitted to our hospital due to hypertension, severe hypokalaemia and metabolic alkalosis; physical examination was remarkable for plethoric moon face, centripetal obesity and bilateral lower extremity oedema. She was admitted for intravenous potassium replacement and further assessment of hypertension and associated clinical findings. Laboratory testing showed increased levels of aldosterone, renin, cortisol, testosterone and androstenedione. An abdominal CT revealed a large mass in the right adrenal gland with hepatic involvement. The patient was started on antihypertensive medications and underwent laparoscopic surgery for mass and liver biopsy. The pathological diagnosis was adrenocortical carcinoma with liver metastasis. Hyperaldosteronism is a cause of secondary hypertension and its diagnosis is usually benign. Adrenocortical carcinoma is a rare condition and aldosterone secreting tumours are even rarer; associated hypertension usually improves after tumour resection, but with the presence of metastasis, blood pressure control is difficult.

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  • Contributors All four authors were actively responsible for the decisions taken in the patient's care. DVE and FB were responsible for data collection and conception of the case report. AFV and PACG helped with the critical revision of the article as well of the final approval of the version to be sent.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.