Thermal Ablation in the Management of Adrenal Metastasis Originating from Non-small Cell Lung Cancer: A 5-year Single-center Experience

Chin Med J (Engl). 2017 Sep 5;130(17):2027-2032. doi: 10.4103/0366-6999.210496.


Background: Treatment of adrenal metastasis from lung carcinoma may prolong survival in the selected patients. However, not all patients can undergo surgery; thus, minimally invasive ablation procedures such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation (MWA) have gained acceptance as alternative treatment methods. This study summarized a 5-year single-center experience regarding the evaluation of safety and efficacy of computed tomography (CT)-guided thermal ablation in the management of adrenal metastasis originating from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Methods: The data of NSCLC patients ablated for adrenal metastasis at the Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology, General Hospital Sotiria, were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were divided into two groups: RFA group and MWA group according to the therapeutic approaches. Preprocedural blood tests included measurement of international normalized ratio, partial thromboplastin time, and platelet enumeration. A dual-phase contrast-enhanced spiral CT was performed immediately after the procedure to assess the immediate response after ablation and to screen for related complications. Follow-up was performed with CT or magnetic resonance imaging at 1, 3, 6 months and 1 year after ablation and every 6 months thereafter.

Results: A total of 99 ablation sessions in 71 patients with adrenal metastasis originating from NSCLC were included in the final analysis. Self-limited, postablation syndrome occurred in 16/99 (16.1%) of ablation sessions. All procedures were technically successful. Immediate postablation imaging showed no contrast enhancement of the ablated tumor in all patients. Follow-up imaging at 3 months revealed local tumor progression in 8 (22.8%) patients of the RFA group and 7 (19.4%) patients of MWA group, all of them underwent a second session successfully. The 1-year assessment revealed local recurrence of the ablated tumor in six patients (17.1%) of RFA group and seven patients (19.4%) of MWA group. Among these 71 patients, those with tumor size >3.5 cm had a higher local recurrence rate (65.2%, 15/23) than those with tumors ≤3.5 cm (16.7%, 8/48; P = 0.012). There was no significant difference in the median survival time between RFA (14.0 months) and MWA (14.6 months) groups (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: RFA and MWA showed comparable efficacy and safety in adrenal metastasis treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / therapy
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / therapy*
  • Catheter Ablation / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / complications*
  • Lung Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies