What Is a Renal Adenoma?

Mary McMahon

A renal adenoma is a benign solid tumor in or around the kidneys, arising in glandular tissue. The incidence of these growths in the general population is not known, as they often go undiagnosed and may only be noted incidentally on autopsy findings in patients who die of other conditions. Usually a doctor identifies a renal adenoma when a medical imaging study of the kidneys is requested for an unrelated reason, and the growth appears as a finding on that study.

A renal adenoma, a benign solid tumor in or around the kidneys, can often be overlooked.
A renal adenoma, a benign solid tumor in or around the kidneys, can often be overlooked.

This type of growth tends to be slow, although there is a potential for differentiation into an aggressive and cancerous tumor. Superficially, renal adenomas can look like renal cell carcinoma, a malignancy, and a doctor will usually request a biopsy to evaluate the cells under a microscope and learn more about the tumor. If the growth is an adenoma, the doctor will not recommend treatment beyond monitoring the patient for any signs of changes.

A biopsy may be performed to evaluate cells under a microscope to distinguish between renal adenomas and renal cell carcinoma.
A biopsy may be performed to evaluate cells under a microscope to distinguish between renal adenomas and renal cell carcinoma.

Get started

Want to automatically save money while you shop online?

Join 3 million Wikibuy users who have found 
$70 million in savings over the last year.

Wikibuy compensates us when you install Wikibuy using the links we provided.

Typically, patients with this type of growth do not experience symptoms. Sometimes a renal adenoma puts pressure on the kidneys and can create urinary tract obstructions or increase the risk of infection. During evaluation for these problems, the doctor will find the renal adenoma. In the majority of patients, the growth should be asymptomatic and may go unobserved for the patient's entire life. Since autopsies are only ordered in cases where there are concerns about the circumstances of the death, it is hard to determine the frequency of this cancer from autopsy findings alone.

A patient with renal adenoma should make sure his or her chart has accurate and up to date information.
A patient with renal adenoma should make sure his or her chart has accurate and up to date information.

If a renal adenoma starts to cause problems by growing too large or too fast, surgery to remove it is a treatment option. Doctors can also watch the growth for signs it is turning malignant, and could consider chemotherapy or radiation as additional treatment options. Noninvasive treatment approaches are usually preferred because the risks for the patient are much lower. Undergoing surgery to remove a renal adenoma can be ill-advised if the growth is not causing any health problems, as the patient will be exposed to risks of infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and kidney damage.

Surgery may be required to remove a renal adenoma.
Surgery may be required to remove a renal adenoma.

A patient with a renal adenoma should make sure the growth, and as much information as possible, is part of her chart. If another doctor identifies the growth, he can consult the patient's chart to see whether the growth is growing or is a cause for concern. Patients may also want to bring it up with emergency medical personnel to make them aware of the growth, as it might surprise them in medical imaging studies or surgery, and it can be helpful to know that the patient is aware and monitoring it with the assistance of a doctor.

Complications of surgery to remove a renal adenoma may include adverse reactions to anesthesia.
Complications of surgery to remove a renal adenoma may include adverse reactions to anesthesia.
A renal adenoma may put pressure on the kidneys and create urinary tract obstructions.
A renal adenoma may put pressure on the kidneys and create urinary tract obstructions.
Renal adenoma tumors are often discovered during medical imaging scans for an unrelated condition.
Renal adenoma tumors are often discovered during medical imaging scans for an unrelated condition.

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: