Adrenal myelolipoma: Operative indications and outcomes

Victoria M. Gershuni, James G. Bittner, Jeffrey F. Moley, L. Michael Brunt

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18 Scopus citations


Background: Adrenal myelolipoma (AM) is a benign lesion for which adrenalectomy is infrequently indicated. We investigated operative indications and outcomes for AM in a large single-institution series. Subjects and Methods: A retrospective cohort study of prospectively collected data was conducted. Patients (≥16 years of age) who underwent adrenalectomy in the Division of General Surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital (1993-2010) were grouped by operative indication (myelolipoma versus other pathology) and compared using nonparametric tests (α<0.05). Results: Sixteen patients (4.0%) had myelolipomas resected out of 402 patients who underwent adrenalectomy. Fourteen patients with suspected AM underwent adrenalectomy, 13 (93%) of whom had AM confirmed on pathology. Indications for adrenalectomy were abdominal or flank pain, large tumor size (>8 cm), atypical radiologic appearance, and/or inferior vena cava compression. Three patients with suspected other adrenal lesions had AM confirmed on final pathology. Operative approach was laparoscopic in 15 cases and open in 1 case of a 21-cm lesion. Patients who underwent laparoscopic adrenalectomy for AM (n=15) or other adrenal pathology (n=343) were similar with respect to age, gender, American Society of Anesthesiologists classification, prior abdominal operation, tumor side, operative time, conversion rate, estimated blood loss, intraoperative complications, hospital length of stay, and 30-day morbidity. However, patients with resected AM had a higher body mass index (36.5±8.1 kg/m2 versus 30.1±7.5 kg/m2; P<.01) and a larger preoperative tumor size (8.4±3.0 cm versus 3.1±1.7 cm; P<.01). Conclusions: Laparoscopic adrenalectomy may be appropriate for patients with a presumptive diagnosis of AM and abdominal or flank pain, large tumor size, and/or uncertain diagnosis after imaging. Outcomes and morbidity following LA for AM and other adrenal pathology appear comparable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


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