Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 2542–2546 | Cite as

Primary adrenal hypercortisolism: minimally invasive surgical treatment or medical therapy? A retrospective study with long-term follow-up evaluation

  • Mario Guerrieri
  • Roberto CampagnacciEmail author
  • Andrea Patrizi
  • Chiara Romiti
  • Giorgio Arnaldi
  • Marco Boscaro



Because the most suitable management of subclinical Cushing syndrome (SCS, which involves hypersecretion of cortisol without clinically evident disease) still is undefined, the current study aimed to compare retrospectively the outcome for a cohort of patients treated by medical therapy or laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA).


Over a 12-year period, 47 patients with SCS have been treated by means of LA (19 patients, group A) or medical therapy (28 patients, group B). Group A consisted of 15 women and 4 men with a mean age of 54.8 years. Eight patients had a left adrenal mass, whereas nine had a right adrenal mass, and one patient had bilateral lesion. Group B was composed of 18 women and 10 men with a mean age of 57.8 years. Of these patients, 14 had a left adrenal lesion, 12 had a right adrenal lesion, and 1 had bilateral lesion. The patients were followed up for a mean 4 years (range, 1–11 years) by both an endocrinologist and a surgeon.


In group A, hypertension improved for 66.3% of the patients; body mass index (BMI) decreased for 47.4%; and hyperlipidemia based on high-density lypoproteins (HDL) cholesterol, total cholesterol ratio, and triglyceridemic concentration improved for 63.2% of the patients. No changes in bone parameters were seen after surgery in SCS patients with osteoporosis. Some patients in group B, during their long-term medical therapy, experienced worsening hypertension (14.2%), hyperlipidemia (17.8%), and diabetes mellitus (8%).


This retrospective study focused on a cohort of patients with SCS. Their medium long-term follow-up evaluation showed that LA is better than medical therapy for treating this condition, especially by reducing the cardiovascular risk (hypertension-hyperlipidemia).


Cushing syndrome Laparoscopic adrenalectomy Subclinical Cushing 



Mario Guerrieri, Roberto Campagnacci, Andrea Patrizi, Chiara Romiti, Giorgio Arnaldi, and Marco Boscaro, have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Guerrieri
    • 1
  • Roberto Campagnacci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Andrea Patrizi
    • 1
  • Chiara Romiti
    • 1
  • Giorgio Arnaldi
    • 2
  • Marco Boscaro
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinica di Chirurgia Generale e Metodologia ChirurgicaUniversità Politecnica delle Marche-Ospedali RiunitiAnconaItaly
  2. 2.Clinica di EndocrinologiaUniversità Politecnica delle Marche-Ospedali RiunitiAnconaItaly

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