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01.06.2014 | Ausgabe 6/2014

World Journal of Surgery 6/2014

Adrenal Metastectomy is Safe in Selected Patients

World Journal of Surgery > Ausgabe 6/2014
Minerva Angelica Romero Arenas, Dawen Sui, Elizabeth G. Grubbs, Jeffrey E. Lee, Nancy D. Perrier



The benefit of adrenalectomy (ADX) for adrenal metastasis is not established. We evaluated outcomes after ADX for patients with adrenal metastasis.


We retrospectively analyzed the records of 90 patients who underwent ADX for metastatic disease. Overall survival (OS) after ADX was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Clinical factors were evaluated for associations with OS using a Cox regression model, and with operative factors using the Wilcoxon two-sample or Fisher’s exact test.


The most common primary tumor types were melanoma (35, 39 %) and lung cancer (32, 35 %). A total of 49 (54 %) patients had isolated adrenal metastasis; 55 (61 %) underwent laparoscopic resection (LADX). Median OS was 2.46 years (range < 1 month–15 years), and 5-year survival rate was 38 % (6 % standard error). Most patients experienced disease progression (56, 62 %) despite achieving disease-free status following ADX (78, 86 %). When compared with the open approach, LADX was associated with smaller tumor size, as well as reduced blood loss, operative time, and length of stay (all p < 0.0001), and no difference in OS (p = 0.4122) or complications (p = 1). Isolated adrenal bed recurrence was similar in LADX (N = 3, 5 %) and open ADX (N = 2, 6 %) (p = 1), and did not affect OS (p = 0.2). Larger tumors were associated with shorter median OS (p = 0.0014).


ADX for metastasis can be safely performed in selected patients. Some patients with adrenal metastasis achieve prolonged survival following ADX. Compared with an open approach, LADX has no measurable oncologic disadvantage, minimizes morbidity, and should be considered when tumor characteristics permit.

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