Concurrent pituitary and adrenal tumors in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism: 17 cases (1978-1995)

Deborah S. Greco, Mark E. Peterson, Autumn P. Davidson, Edward C Feldman, Kathianne Komurek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective - To describe the clinicopathologic characteristics of dogs with hyperadrenocorticism and concurrent pituitary and adrenal tumors. Design - Retrospective study. Animals - 17 client-owned dogs. Procedure - Signalment, response to treatment, and results of CBC, serum biochemical analysis, urinalysis, endocrine testing, and histologic examinations were obtained from medical records of dogs with hyperadrenocorticism and concurrent adrenal and chromophobe pituitary tumors. Results - On the basis of results of adrenal function tests and histologic examination of tissue specimens collected during surgery and necropsy, concurrent pituitary and adrenal tumors were identified in 17 of approximately 1,500 dogs with hyperadrenocorticism. Twelve were neutered females, 5 were males (3 sexually intact, 2 neutered); and median age was 12 years (range, 7 to 16 years). Hyperadrenocorticism had been diagnosed by use of low-dose dexamethasone suppression tests and ACTH stimulation tests. During high-dose dexamethasone suppression testing of 16 dogs, serum cortisol concentrations remained high in 11 dogs but decreased in 5 dogs. Plasma concentrations of endogenous ACTH were either high or within the higher limits of the reference range (12/16 dogs), within the lower limits of the reference range (2/16), or low (2/16). Adrenal lesions identified by histologic examination included unilateral cortical adenoma with contralateral hyperplasia (10/17), bilateral cortical adenomas (4/17), and unilateral carcinoma with contralateral hyperplasia (3/17). Pituitary lesions included a chromophobe microadenoma (12/17), macroadenoma (4/17), and carcinoma (1/17). Clinical Implications - Pituitary and adrenal tumors can coexist in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism, resulting in a confusing mixture of test results that may complicate diagnosis and treatment of hyperadrenocorticism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1349-1353
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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