Laparoscopic versus open adrenalectomy for adrenocortical carcinoma: surgical and oncologic outcome in 152 patients

Eur Urol. 2010 Oct;58(4):609-15. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2010.06.024. Epub 2010 Jun 22.


Background: The role of laparoscopic adrenalectomy in the treatment of patients with adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is controversial.

Objective: Our aim was to compare oncologic outcome in patients with ACC who underwent either open adrenalectomy (OA) or laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) for localised disease.

Design, setting, and participants: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 152 patients with stage I-III ACC with a tumour < or =10 cm registered with the German ACC Registry.

Intervention: Patients were stratified into two groups according to the surgical procedure (LA or OA). For comparison, we used both a matched pairs approach by selecting for each patient from the LA group (n=35) one corresponding patient from the OA group (n=117) and multivariate analysis in all 152 patients.

Measurements: Disease-specific survival was chosen as the predefined primary end point. Secondary end points were recurrence-free survival, frequency of tumour capsule violation and postoperative peritoneal carcinomatosis, and incidence and reasons for conversion from LA to OA.

Results and limitations: LA and OA did not differ with regard to the primary end point using either the matched pairs approach (hazard ratio [HR] for death: 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.36-1.72; p=0.55) or multivariate analysis (HR for death: 0.98; 95% CI, 0.51-1.92; p=0.92). Similarly, adjusted recurrence-free survival was not different between LA and OA (HR: 0.91; 95% CI, 0.56-1.47; p=0.69). Frequency of tumour capsule violation and peritoneal carcinomatosis were comparable between groups. In 12 of 35 patients of the LA group, surgery was converted to open surgery with no impact on the clinical outcome.

Conclusions: For localised ACC with a diameter of < or =10 cm, LA by an experienced surgeon is not inferior to OA with regard to oncologic outcome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Adrenalectomy / methods*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult