Functional adrenal cortex preservation: A good reason for posterior retroperitoneal endoscopic approach

Cir Esp. 2018 Oct;96(8):488-493. doi: 10.1016/j.ciresp.2018.04.008. Epub 2018 May 24.
[Article in En, Spanish]


Introduction: Cortical-sparing adrenalectomy is a suitable treatment for hereditary and sporadic bilateral pheochromocytoma, in cases of low risk of malignancy, to reduce the possibility of adrenal insufficiency assuming the chance of local recurrence. The aim of the study is to analyze the functional results of partial adrenalectomy by retroperitoneal endoscopic approach in single-adrenal patients or patients requiring bilateral adrenalectomy.

Methods: Prospective study between January 2015 and February 2016 including pheochromocytoma patients diagnosed with low risk of malignant mutations. All patients agreed to be included in the study. Experienced endocrine surgeons who have been trained in minimally invasive endocrine surgery performed the procedure using the same surgical technique. Demographic variables and clinical characteristics were collected, subsequently carrying out the descriptive analysis of the data.

Results: A total of 6 patients were registered, four associated with MEN type 2 syndrome and two in the context of VHL syndrome. Retroperitoneoscopic resection was performed without laparoscopic or open conversion and no postoperative complications; the average hospital stay was 2.5 days. Preservation of the functional cortex without corticosteroids was achieved in 5 (83%) of out 6 cases with a follow-up of 26.2 ± 6 months. Today, these 5 patients have a preserved adrenal function without hormone replacement.

Conclusions: Cortical-sparing adrenalectomy by the retroperitoneal endoscopic approach, in expert hands, is safe and feasible for the treatment of hereditary and sporadic pheochromocytoma in a context of low malignancy, making it possible to avoid the need for corticoid replacement in most cases.

Keywords: Abordaje endoscópico retroperitoneal; Adrenalectomía parcial; Feocromocitoma; Partial adrenalectomy; Pheochromocytoma; Retroperitoneal endoscopic approach.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex / physiology
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Adrenalectomy / methods*
  • Adult
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Sparing Treatments
  • Pheochromocytoma / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retroperitoneal Space