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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Laparoscopic Trans-Abdominal Right Adrenalectomy for a Large Primitive Adrenal Oncocytic Carcinoma: A Case Report and Review of Literature

Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Valerio Panizzo, Barbara Rubino, Guglielmo Niccolò Piozzi, Paolo Ubiali, Anna Morandi, Marco Nencioni, Giancarlo Micheletto

Italy Department of General Surgery, Istituto Clinico Sant'Ambrogio, Milan, Italy

Am J Case Rep 2018; 19:1096-1102

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.910259

Available online:

Published: 2018-09-15


BACKGROUND: Adrenocortical oncocytic neoplasms (AONs) are extremely rare tumors. AONs are classified as: oncocytoma (AO), oncocytic neoplasm of uncertain malignant potential (AONUMP), and oncocytic carcinoma (AOC). Among the 162 reported cases of AONs in the literature, 30 cases were classified as malignant. Adrenalectomy is the treatment of choice for AON.
CASE REPORT: We report the case of a 48-year-old man with a primitive 12-cm mass affecting the right adrenal gland, detected by ultrasonography during follow-up for alcoholic liver cirrhosis. Computed tomography (CT) scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a mass of the right adrenal gland compressing the inferior vena cava (IVC) and dislocating the right lobe of the liver, with no invasion of kidney, liver, or IVC. Preoperative blood tests showed mild transaminase increase. Laparoscopic right adrenalectomy with lateral transperitoneal approach was performed. The postoperative course was uneventful. The lesion was diagnosed as a primitive adrenal oncocytic carcinoma (AOC). No recurrence was evidenced during 24-month follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: Although AONs are very rare, they must be considered in the differential diagnosis of adrenal masses due to their prognostic difference compared to non-oncocytic tumors. AOCs are a rare presentation of AONs. Only 30 cases are described in the literature. Laparotomic adrenalectomy is the treatment of choice for AOC. We report the first case of laparoscopic lateral trans-abdominal adrenalectomy for a voluminous AOC (120×95×110 mm) and we review the literature regarding AOCs. Laparoscopy in experienced hands is safe and effective for the treatment of AONs. Despite the rarity of AOC, a case series should be performed to confirm the results of our case report.

Keywords: Adrenal Gland Neoplasms, Adrenalectomy, adrenocortical carcinoma, Laparoscopy