Laparoscopic adrenalectomy – indications and selection criteria

Authors: V. Procházka 1;  Z. Kala 1;  M. Jíra 1;  K. Starý 2;  Š. Bohatá 3;  I. Penka 1
Authors‘ workplace: Chirurgická klinika FN Brno Bohunice a LF MU Brno, přednosta: Prof. MUDr. Zdeněk Kala CSc. 1;  Interní gastroenterologická klinika FN Brno Bohunice a LF MU Brno, přednosta: Prof. MUDr. Aleš Hep, CSc. 2;  Radiologická klinika FN Brno Bohunice a LF MU Brno, přednosta: Prof. MUDr. Vlastimil Válek, CSc. 3
Published in: Rozhl. Chir., 2012, roč. 91, č. 4, s. 230-234.
Category: Original articles


Laparoscopic adrenalectomy has become a standard surgical procedure for the most of adrenal gland disorders. Hormonal active adenomas, feochromocytomas even some malignant tumors are the most frequent indications. The number of operations for accidentally diagnosed foci has grown rapidly. It has been suggested to revise recommendations specifying criteria, based on which incidentaloma is indicated for adrenalectomy. The aim of this work is to compare the results of adrenalectomies for hormonal active lesions and incidentalomas.

Material and methods:
An analysis of 65 patients who underwent adrenalectomy in the Department of Surgery University Hospital Brno Bohunice from 2005 to 2010. Correlation between preoperative examination outcomes and postoperative histology findings was performed. Furthermore, findings in patients indicated for surgery for hormonally active versus for hormonally inactive suprarenal tumors were compared.

Thirty-eight patients underwent laparoscopic surgery for hormonally active adrenal tumors, one for bilateral metastasses of bronchogenic carcinoma. In 26 cases adrenalectomy was indicated for incidentaloma. Adrenal hyperplasia was the commonest histological finding in the group with hormonally inactive tumors. No carcinoma was detected in this group.

In 5 of 19 patients operated for suspective feochromocytoma, the procedure did not result in blood pressure adjustment and feochromocytoma was histologically confirmed in 11 out of the 19 subjects. The size of the tumors was significantly higher in incidentalomas, compared to hormonally active pathologies. No incidentaloma and hypertension subjects experienced alteration in their clinical condition after the procedure.

Laparoscopic adrenalectomy is a standard procedure in the majority of hormonally active focal suprarenal conditions. Patients with accidentally detected suprarenal tumors should be carefully indicated, taking into consideration internal comorbidities and any surgical procedures in a patientęs history. The benefit of adrenalectomy for the clinical condition alteration is arguable in incidentalomas. The National Institutes of Health USA (NIH) consensus guidlines should be strictly followed druing the decision making proces. Indication for adrenalectomy in tumors of less than 6 cm and with benign appearance on CT or MRI is not considered rational.

Key words:
adrenalectomy – laparoscopy – incidentaloma – hormonal – activity – carcinoma


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