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

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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.

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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). https://doi.org/10.1007/s002689900119

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s002689900119

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