Nationwide analysis of adrenocortical carcinoma reveals higher perioperative morbidity in functional tumors

Punam P. Parikh, Gustavo A. Rubio, Josefina C. Farra, John Lew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Current adrenalectomy outcomes for functional adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) remain unclear. This study examines nationwide in-hospital post-adrenalectomy outcomes for ACC. Methods: A retrospective analysis of the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (2006-2011) to identify unilateral adrenalectomy patients for functional or nonfunctional ACC was performed. Patient demographics, comorbidities and postoperative outcomes were evaluated by t-test, Chi-square and multivariate regression. Results: Of 2199 patients who underwent adrenalectomy, 87% had nonfunctional and 13% had functional ACC (86% hypercortisolism, 16% hyperaldosteronism, 4% hyperandrogenism). Functional ACC patients had significantly more comorbidities, and experienced certain postoperative complications more frequently including wound issues, adrenocortical insufficiency and acute kidney injury with longer hospital stay compared to nonfunctional ACC (P < 0.01). On multivariate analysis, functional ACC was an independent prognosticator for wound complications (28.1, 95%CI 4.59-176.6). Conclusion: Patients with functional ACC manifest significant comorbidities with certain in-hospital complications. Such high-risk patients require appropriate preoperative medical optimization prior to adrenalectomy. Synopsis: Patients with functional adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) have significant preoperative comorbidities and experience higher rates of certain postoperative complications including wound complications, hematoma formation, adrenal insufficiency, pulmonary embolism and acute kidney injury. Functional ACC patients also necessitate longer hospitalizations. These patients should undergo appropriate preoperative counseling in preparation for adrenalectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Adrenocortical carcinoma
  • Clinical outcomes
  • Functional tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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