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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 834-840

Bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing's syndrome: Pros and cons

Department of Endocrine Surgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
A K Verma
Department of Endocrine Surgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow - 226 014, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.167544

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Aim: To assess the outcome of patients undergoing bilateral adrenalectomy for Cushing's syndrome (CS). Methods: All patients who underwent bilateral adrenalectomy for CS at the Department of Endocrine Surgery, Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences hospital between 1991 and 2013 were included. Medical records were reviewed to obtain patient characteristics and follow-up data. Results: Twenty-seven patients were studied. Mean age was 28.74 ± 12.95 years (range 9–60), male:female ratio was 1.7:1. About half that is, 48.19% were of Cushing's disease (failed trans-sphenoidal surgery [TSS]), 37.04% were of ectopic CS (ECS), and 14.81% were of CS due to bilateral adrenal pathology. Median follow-up period was 80.5 months. Before surgery, 74.1% patients had body mass index > which after surgery declined to <25 in 75% of them. Hypertension was present in 85.2% and after surgery resolved in 40%. Diabetes mellitus was present in 44.4% and after surgery resolved in 33% of them. Hirsutism and proximal muscle weakness were present in 55.6% and 70.4% patients, respectively, and after surgery improved markedly in all patients. Adrenal crisis developed in 36.3% and Nelson's syndrome in 41.7% patients during follow-up. Three patients died in perioperative period while three succumbed to the disease during follow-up. Two patients developed recurrence of endogenous cortisol production during the follow-up period. Conclusions: Bilateral adrenalectomy is a valid treatment option for palliating severe symptoms in Pituitary Cushing's with failed TSS and unlocalized ECS but the procedure is curative for CS due to bilateral adrenal disease. Overall morbidity and mortality is higher than other endocrine operations. Co-morbidities tend to be more severe and are a risk factor for mortality during the time patient survives.

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