Laparoscopic Versus Open Adrenalectomy for Localized/Locally Advanced Primary Adrenocortical Carcinoma (ENSAT I-III) in Adults: Is Margin-Free Resection the Key Surgical Factor that Dictates Outcome? A Review of the Literature.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)


The aim of this study was to review the current literature on the role of laparoscopic adrenalectomy (LA) in the treatment of primary adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC; European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors [ENSAT] I-III) in adults.

Materials and methods

Nonrandomized controlled trials published between January 1999 and February 2017 were identified by searching the Pubmed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases. Primary and secondary endpoints included surgical and pathological parameters (patients age, tumor size, ENSAT stage, type of surgical approach, and period of follow-up), surgical outcomes (operative time, estimated blood loss, length of hospital stay, conversion rate to laparotomy, R0 resection, and surgical margin's status), and oncological outcomes (rate of recurrence, disease-free survival [DFS], and overall survival [OS] rates).


A total of 13 studies encompassing data on 1171 patients were included in the review. Compared with open approach, LA demonstrated lower tumor size, shorter operative time, lower intraoperative blood loss, shorter postoperative hospital stay, and equivalent local recurrence rates. No significant differences were observed between groups treated with an open or laparoscopic approach for the following criteria: R0 surgical resection status, tumor overall recurrence, and postoperative DFS and OS rates.


LA appears to be equivalent to open method for localized/locally advanced primary ACC (ENSAT I-III) in terms of R0 resection rate, overall recurrence, DFS, and OS, therefore suggesting that the extent of surgery with adequate tumor resection is the predominant endpoint, rather than the surgical approach itself. Multicenter randomized controlled trials with long follow-up time periods exploring the long-term oncological outcomes are required to determine the benefits of the laparoscopic over the open approach in adrenocortical carcinoma.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mpaili, E; Moris, D; Tsilimigras, DI; Oikonomou, D; Pawlik, TM; Schizas, D; Papalampros, A; Felekouras, E; Dimitroulis, D

Published Date

  • April 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 408 - 414

PubMed ID

  • 29319399

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-9034

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1092-6429

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1089/lap.2017.0546


  • eng