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World J Surg. 2010 Jun;34(6):1380-5. doi: 10.1007/s00268-010-0532-2.

Laparoscopic resection is inappropriate in patients with known or suspected adrenocortical carcinoma.

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Division of Endocrine Surgery, University of Michigan, 2920F Taubman Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.



Complete surgical resection is the mainstay of treatment for patients with adrenocortical cancer (ACC). Use of laparoscopy has been questioned in patients with ACC. This study compares the outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic versus open resection (OR) for ACC.


A retrospective review (2003-2008) of patients with ACC was performed. Data were collected for demographics, operative and pathologic data, adjuvant therapy, and outcome. Chi-square analysis was performed.


Eighty-eight patients (66% women; median age, 47 (range, 18-81) years) were identified. Seventeen patients underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA). Median tumor size of those who underwent LA was 7.0 (range, 4-14) cm versus 12.3 (range, 5-27) cm for OR. Recurrent disease in the laparoscopic group occurred in 63% versus 65% in the open group. Mean time to first recurrence for those who underwent LA was 9.6 months (+/-14) versus 19.2 months (+/-37.5) in the open group (p < 0.005). Fifty percent of patients who underwent LA had positive margins or notation of intraoperative tumor spill versus 18% of those who underwent OR (p = 0.01). Local recurrence occurred in 25% of the laparoscopic group versus 20% in the open group (p = 0.23). Mean follow-up was 36.5 months (+/-43.6).


ACC continues to be a deadly disease, and little to no progress has been made from a treatment standpoint in the past 20 years. Careful and complete surgical resection is of the utmost importance. Although feasible in many cases and tempting, laparoscopic resection should not be attempted in patients with tumors suspicious for or known to be adrenocortical carcinoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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