The International Journal of Romanian Society of Endocrinology / Registered in 1938

in Web of Science Master Journal List

Acta Endocrinologica(Bucharest) is live in PubMed Central

Journal Impact Factor - click here.

October - December 2021, Volume 17, Issue 4
Endocrine Care

Yilmaz N, Tazegul G, Sari R, Avsar E, Altunbas H, Balci MK

Effectiveness of Unilateral Adrenalectomy in Bilateral Adrenal Incidentaloma Patients with Subclinical Hypercortisolemia

Acta Endo (Buc) 2021, 17 (4): 479-485
doi: 10.4183/aeb.2021.479

Objective. Unilateral adrenalectomy (UA) is an alternative for treatment in bilateral adrenal incidentaloma (AI) to avoid possible long-term risks of bilateral adrenalectomy. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of UA in bilateral AI patients with subclinical hypercortisolemia (SH). Method. A total of 35 patients were included in this study. The patients were divided into two groups; those who underwent UA (n=27) and patients without adrenalectomy (PWA) (n=8). Hormone tests related to cortisol mechanism were reviewed to analyze results at the time of diagnosis compared to the latest available results to figure out any changes in cortisol mechanism and determine whether SH has recovered or not. Results. Median age of PWA group were higher compared to UA group (p=0.03). Median duration of followup in groups were similar (p=0.3). In the PWA group, none of the patients recovered from hypercortisolemia during their follow-up. In UA group 92.6% of the patients went into remission, whereas during follow-up 3.3% had recurred and another 3.3% were found to have post-adrenalectomy persistent SH. Patients in UA group had lower final cortisol level following dexamethasone suppression (p=0.003) and higher final adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) levels (p=0.001) than patients in PWA group. In UA group, final basal cortisol level (p=0.009) and final cortisol level after 1 mg dexamethasone suppression test (DST) (p=0.004) were lower than corresponding levels at the time of diagnosis. Discussion. Our study demonstrates unilateral adrenalectomy targeting the side with the larger lesion is an effective approach to reduce excess cortisol levels in bilateral AI patients with SH.

Keywords: Unilateral adrenalectomy, bilateral adrenal incidentaloma, subclinical hypercortisolemia

Correspondence: Ramazan Sari MD, Akdeniz University, School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, TR-07070, Antalya, Turkey, E-mail: