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Curr Urol Rep. 2009 Jan;10(1):67-72.

Surgical management of metastases to the adrenal gland: open, laparoscopic, and ablative approaches.

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Department of Urology, Hackensack University Medical Center, Touro University College of Medicine, 360 Essex Street, Suite 403, Hackensack, NJ 07601, USA.


The adrenal gland is a potential site of metastasis for various malignancies. Metastases to the adrenal gland are the second most common type of adrenal mass lesion after adenomas. Differentiation of a metastatic lesion from a primary adrenal lesion can be challenging and requires the selective use of radiologic imaging, serologic testing, and adrenal biopsy. In patients who present with an isolated adrenal metastasis, adrenalectomy is often considered to aid in cancer control. Numerous studies have reported improved survival with resection of solitary adrenal metastases for various types of primary tumors. Traditionally, open adrenalectomy was the preferred option for these patients. More recently, laparoscopic adrenalectomy has offered a minimally invasive approach, with its resultant advantages of improved perioperative parameters. Proper patient selection for the laparoscopic versus open approach remains paramount in deciding the best treatment for the individual patient.

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