Adrenocortical carcinoma invading the inferior vena cava: case report and literature review

Endocr Pract. 2008 Sep;14(6):721-5. doi: 10.4158/EP.14.6.721.


Objective: To present the case of a man with a right-sided adrenocortical carcinoma that invaded the inferior vena cava and was managed by radical resection and vein patch repair.

Methods: We report the clinical, laboratory, imaging, and operative findings, and we highlight the pertinent features of this case. The literature is reviewed for the management of adrenocortical carcinoma in conjunction with inferior vena cava invasion.

Results: In a 34-year-old man with new-onset abdominal pain, abdominal imaging disclosed a large right adrenal mass with invasion into the inferior vena cava. Laboratory values revealed that the adrenal mass was likely nonfunctional. At surgical intervention with use of cardiopulmonary bypass, the mass was removed en bloc with the adrenal gland, right kidney, and the wall of the inferior vena cava, and the inferior vena cava was reconstructed with bovine pericardium.

Conclusion: Despite direct invasion or extension of tumor thrombus into the inferior vena cava (or both), complete (R0) resection can be obtained. Thus, this scenario should not preclude attempted curative resection in patients with adrenal cancer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / complications
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vena Cava, Inferior / pathology*