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Surveillance of adrenal tumours in pregnancy

Principal investigator
Catherine Williamson (Imperial College, London)
David McCance (Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast), Kimberley Lambert (Imperial College, London), Marian Knight (NPEU)
Severe maternal morbidity and mortality
Start year
End year
NPEU Contact
Marian Knight


Tumours of the adrenal glands are very rare and information in the medical literature on the incidence, their management and maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes is limited. Phaeochromocytomas, tumours associated with Conn's Syndrome, andadrenal or pituitary tumours linked to Cushing's Syndrome produce excess steroid hormones which are associated with major pregnancy complications, including major maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Adrenal tumours are linked to higher rates of hypertension, diabetes and pre-eclampsia, as well as fetal death, intrauterine growth restriction, fetal hypoxia, fetal distress, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth and prematurity. Currently, there are no data on the incidence of adrenal tumours in pregnancy in the UK and the associated maternal, fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

In addition, there are few guidelines on the appropriate pharmacological or surgical management of these tumours. Therefore, this study will examine the effects of the drugs used to treat these in relation to maternal or fetal and neonatal complications and whether the timing of the surgery to remove the tumours is important. This will allow for development of guidelines on the management of adrenal tumours in pregnancy with the ultimate aim of improving maternal and infant outcomes.Data analysis is now in progress.