Vol 71, No 6 (2020)
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Published online: 2020-10-28

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Laparoscopic cortical-sparing adrenal surgery in pheochromocytomas associated with hereditary neoplasia syndromes

Kornelia Hasse-Lazar1, Marcin Zeman2, Agnieszka Kotecka-Blicharz1, Marta Legutko1, Agnieszka Czarniecka2, Barbara Michalik1, Aleksandra Król1, Piotr Szymański1, Agnieszka Pawlaczek3, Małgorzata Oczko-Wojciechowska3, Maciej Grajek2, Tomasz Gawlik1, Daria Handkiewicz-Junak1, Barbara Jarząb1
Pubmed: 33125693
Endokrynol Pol 2020;71(6):518-523.


Introduction: Pheochromocytomas in hereditary syndromes tend to grow multifocal with adrenal involvement on both sides. Surgical treatment with bilateral adrenalectomy inevitably leads to life-long hormonal dependence, which significantly affects quality of life. The development of minimally invasive adrenal surgery has created a chance to preserve adrenal cortex function in these patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the safety of laparoscopic cortical-sparing adrenal surgeries and their efficacy in the prevention of postoperative adrenal insufficiency in patients with hereditary pheochromocytomas.

Material and methods: We retrospectively analysed the medical histories of 10 patients, who underwent 10 laparoscopic cortical sparing adrenal surgeries from January 2015 to January 2019 in our centre. The decision to perform sparing surgery was based on preoperative diagnosis of hereditary syndrome in line with the result of DNA analysis or its diagnosis based on the clinical appearance. All surgeries were performed laparoscopically from transperitoneal access in the lateral decubitus position, with preserving 1/3–1/4 adrenal tissue. The sufficiency of remnant adrenal tissue was assessed in all patients. The median time of follow-up was three years (ranged 0.5–4 years).

Results: No intraoperative complications were observed. One case of acute heart failure was the only early postoperative adverse event. There were no late postoperative complications and no local recurrences observed. In one out of three patients undergoing sparing surgery as a second procedure after former total adrenalectomy, adrenal cortex failure occurred. In all patients after unilateral surgery or after bilateral surgery performed simultaneously (total adrenalectomy at one side and sparing surgery contralaterally), function of remnant adrenal tissue was preserved.

Conclusions: In hereditary pheochromocytomas, with minimal risk of malignant process, laparoscopic cortical sparing adrenal surgeries are the safe approach and provide the chance to preserve adrenal cortex function. 

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