Skip to main content
Log in

Adrenalectomy for Treatment of Cushing Syndrome: Results in 122 Patients and Long-Term Follow-up Studies

  • Published:
World Journal of Surgery Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract. Patients with Cushing syndrome (

n = 122) who underwent adrenalectomy from 1957 through 1993 were reviewed for survival and complications. Of the 122 patients, 70 had adrenocortical adenoma, 30 Cushing’s disease, 6 primary pigmented nodular adrenocortical disease (PPNAD), 7 other types of primary nodular hyperplasia, 5 adrenocortical carcinoma, and 4 ectopic ACTH syndrome. Sixty-five patients with adrenocortical adenoma are alive, and the survival rate was equal to the age-matched control population, when patients who died of the postoperative complication were excluded. Of the patients with Cushing’s disease, 20 are alive; and 10 of 16 patients (63%) who were followed-up and evaluated had skin pigmentation. Four of sixteen patients (25%) developed Nelson’s syndrome. Four PPNAD patients and five with other types of nodular hyperplasia are alive. Most of these patients underwent bilateral total adrenalectomy, but some patients remitted after unilateral adrenalectomy. All of five adrenocortical carcinoma patients and four with ectopic ACTH syndrome died within 2 years after operation. The prognosis for patients with adrenocortical adenoma after unilateral adrenalectomy is excellent, though it is important to avoid operative complications. The rapid cure of signs and symptoms of glucocorticoid excess after total adrenalectomy is ensured, and prognosis is satisfactory under careful glucocorticoid replacement, making total adrenalectomy an alternative treatment for Cushing’s disease.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Imai, T., Funahashi, H., Tanaka, Y. et al. Adrenalectomy for Treatment of Cushing Syndrome: Results in 122 Patients and Long-Term Follow-up Studies. World J. Surg. 20, 781–787 (1996).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: