A pictorial review of non-traumatic adrenergic crisis

Pankaj Nepal, Vijayanadh Ojili, Sree Harsha Tirumani, Gowthaman Gunabushanam, Arpit Nagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Non-traumatic adrenal crisis is a rare but critical diagnosis to make in emergency settings due to grave consequences. Various pathologies can present as acute crisis, such as spectrum of endocrine imbalance, ranging from catecholamine excess in pheochromocytomas to acute adrenal insufficiency related to glandular dysfunction. Critical manifestations may be due to structural causes related to adrenal hemorrhage, especially when they are bilateral. Oncological complications such as vascular invasion, tumoral bleed, rupture, and hormonal dysfunction can occur. Due to non-specific clinical presentation, these conditions may come as a surprise on imaging performed for other reasons. Recognition of these imaging findings is critical for appropriate patient management. Although there are few articles discussing non-traumatic emergencies in literature, this review is inclusive of all possible etiologies, thus provides a holistic approach and insight into each situation. Specific imaging approach is needed to tailor the diagnosis. This article will also discuss about the advanced imaging techniques that will complement diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-545
Number of pages13
JournalEmergency Radiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Adrenal
  • Emergencies
  • Imaging
  • Non-traumatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Emergency Medicine


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