Traumatic and non-traumatic adrenal emergencies Academic Article uri icon

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  • Multiple traumatic and non-traumatic adrenal emergencies are occasionally encountered during the cross-sectional imaging of emergency department patients. Traumatic adrenal hematomas are markers of severe polytrauma, and can be easily overlooked due to multiple concomitant injuries. Patients with non-traumatic adrenal emergencies usually present to an emergency department with a non-specific clinical picture. The detection and management of adrenal emergencies is based on cross-sectional imaging. Adrenal hemorrhage, adrenal infection, or rupture of adrenal neoplasm require immediate detection to avoid dire consequences. More often however, adrenal emergencies are detected incidentally in patients being investigated for non-specific acute abdominal pain. A high index of suspicion is required for the establishment of timely diagnosis and to avert potentially life-threatening complications. We describe cross-sectional imaging findings in patients with traumatic and non-traumatic adrenal hemorrhage, adrenal infarctions, adrenal infections, and complications of adrenal masses.


  • Chernyak, Victoria
  • Patlas, Michael
  • Menias, Christine O
  • Soto, Jorge A
  • Kielar, Ania Z
  • Rozenblit, Alla M
  • Romano, Luigia
  • Katz, Douglas S

publication date

  • 2015