Adrenal histologic findings show no difference in clinical presentation and outcome in primary hyperaldosteronism

Allison B. Weisbrod, Richard C. Webb, Aarti Mathur, Stephanie Barak, Smita Baid Abraham, Naris Nilubol, Martha Quezado, Constantine A. Stratakis, Electron Kebebew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Primary hyperaldosteronism is most commonly due to a solitary cortical adenoma. Thus, some surgeons have suggested a subtotal adrenalectomy is a reasonable approach when a mass can be identified. On the other hand, adrenal vein sampling (AVS) is being used more frequently to distinguish patients with unilateral disease for adrenalectomy, even if a discrete mass is not identified on axial imaging. In these cases, surgical pathology may reveal a cortical adenoma, a cortical adenoma with hyperplasia, or cortical hyperplasia. The goal of this study was to compare the presentation and outcome among patients undergoing adrenalectomy and found to have different histologic features. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 136 patients with primary hyperaldosteronism. A total of 95 patients had an adrenalectomy for unilateral disease. The preoperative clinical and laboratory, and postoperative outcome of the three aforementioned histologic groups were compared. Results: A total of 95 patients underwent an adrenalectomy. We found no significant difference in age, gender, body mass index, duration of hypertension, number of antihypertensive medications, serum aldosterone level, serum renin level, or adrenal vein sampling ratios among the three histologic categories. We also found no significant difference among the three categories in postoperative cure rate. Conclusion: The rate of unilateral hyperplasia in patients with primary hyperaldosteronism (16 %) is likely higher than previously reported, which may be due to the increasing use of AVS. The clinical presentation and outcome of patients regardless of the histologic findings are similar. Our data also suggests that subtotal adrenalectomy would not be appropriate in patients with primary hyperaldosteronism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-758
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adrenal vein sampling
  • Aldosterone producing adenoma
  • Primary hyperaldosteronism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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