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Surgery. 2001 Dec;130(6):1060-7.

Evaluation and surgical resection of adrenal masses in patients with a history of extra-adrenal malignancy.

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  • 1Department of Surgical Oncology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Tex. 77030, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Adrenal abnormalities are often identified on imaging studies performed during the staging of patients presenting with a new malignancy or restaging of patients with a history of a malignancy.

METHODS:

We reviewed the records of patients who underwent surgical resection of an adrenal mass identified in the setting of previously or newly diagnosed extra-adrenal malignancy.

RESULTS:

Eighty-one patients with an adrenal mass and recently diagnosed malignancy (n = 24) or history of a malignancy (n = 57) underwent adrenalectomy. In 42 patients (52%) the adrenal mass was a metastasis. In 39 patients (48%) the adrenal mass was an additional primary adrenal tumor process: 19 pheochromocytomas, (14 syndrome-associated, 5 sporadic), 13 cortical adenomas, 3 adrenocortical carcinomas, 2 ganglioneuromas, and 2 cases of nodular hyperplasia.

CONCLUSIONS:

In this series nearly half of the patients with cancer and an adrenal mass had adrenal pathologic condition independent of their primary malignancy. Despite the presence of a newly diagnosed malignancy or history of malignancy, all patients with an adrenal mass should undergo a standard hormone evaluation to confirm that the mass is not a functional neoplasm. An assumption that the adrenal mass is metastatic disease will be wrong in up to 50% of such patients.

PMID:
11742339
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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