The most common causes of the adrenogenital syndrome in adults are tumors—either benign or malignant. In females, they occur at or after puberty and are characterized by symptoms of masculinization, including enlargement of the clitoris, heavy muscular arms and legs, small breasts, baldness and receding hairline, increased body hair, and deepening of the voice. If there is a malignant tumor, it is removed surgically.
The outlook is poor when a malignant tumor has already spread to other areas of the body, When benign tumors are removed, fertility returns and body hair growth is slowed. However, the excess hair does not fall out, and electrolysis
and other forms of hair removal must be used.
Rarely, a feminizing adrenocortical tumor may occur. This entity is found in young and middle-aged men (25 to 45). The major symptoms are enlargement of the breasts (gynecomastia), along with diminished or absent sexual drive, pain at the tumor site, obesity, elevation of blood pressure, increased skin pigmentation, and varicose veins.
The tumor is removed surgically and the patient receives postoperative radiation. However, the outlook is very poor, because in most cases the tumor has already spread to other parts of the body and most patients die within two years after surgery.