Partial adrenalectomy: the National Cancer Institute experience

Eric K DinerMcClellan M Walther


To report our experience of partial adrenalectomy and demonstrate whether adrenal function can be preserved in patients with hereditary adrenal pheochromocytoma. Total adrenalectomy has largely been used in the treatment of patients with hereditary adrenal pheochromocytomas. Adrenal cortical-sparing surgery is an alternative approach that aims to balance tumor removal with preservation of adrenocortical function. From 1995 to 2004, 33 patients with hereditary pheochromocytoma presented with adrenal masses. Partial adrenalectomy (open or laparoscopic) was performed if normal adrenocortical tissue was evident on preoperative imaging or intraoperative ultrasonography. Various operative parameters, as well as postoperative function of the residual adrenal remnants, were determined. Of the 33 patients, 8 underwent open partial adrenalectomy and 25 laparoscopic partial adrenalectomy during a 10-year period. Ten patients underwent simultaneous, bilateral partial adrenalectomy and 8 underwent surgery on a solitary adrenal gland, 4 of whom received postoperative steroid replacement (stopped in 3 after 1 to 3 months). All other patients had normal catecholamine levels and remained tumor free by imaging at a mean follow-up of 36 months (r...Continue Reading


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